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SCOLIOSIS YOGA THERAPY

I teach yoga, breathing, and awareness practices for Scoliosis and chronic back pain to teens and adults in the Berkeley and Oakland area and via Skype to help individuals heal the discomforts of an asymmetrical spine, chronic postural imbalances, and injuries.

MY SCOLIOSIS STORY

I was introduced to yoga in 1998 at the recommendation of my doctor at Stanford Medical Center as a complementary therapy to my back brace. I have first hand experience of the wonderful work a mindful yoga practice can do. I started my practice at age 15 with a noticeable lateral curve in my spine and even more prominent rotation in my spine creating a slight kyphosis (raised area) on my right side. Now my curve and rotation are undetectable to the untrained eye. The headaches I had before I discovered yoga are only a distant memory, and perhaps just as important, I have wonderful confidence in my body’s appearance and capability – something that is often a challenge for people with scoliosis.

As my yoga asana practice deepens, I continue to learn more about my spine through my own investigations and experiments. I remember vividly in my early twenties, starting to deepen my practice of backbends and experiencing pain for the first time in many years. It proved an exceptional learning experience as I discovered the adjustments I need to make so that my body can go into deep backbends safely and comfortably. Having a body with more noticeable asymmetries than most offers a great opportunity for being awake to the present moment. 

It is this mindfulness and dedication to my yoga practice, that enables me to have complete faith that my yoga practice will keep me free of the pain so often associated with scoliosis in later life.

MY APPROACH to yoga for scoliosis

Over my twelve years of yoga practice, I have studied with teachers of many styles and approaches and have found the techniques from each that I find to be most beneficial to those with scoliosis and back pain. Some of my most influential teachers have been Elise Browning Miller, the “Yoga for Scoliosis” guru and senior Iyengar teacher, and Scott Blossom, a Shadow Yoga teacher, who uses dynamic circular yoga posture sequences to bring balance to the right and left sides of the body. I have found that using a combination of static postures, dynamic movements, and breathing practices not only helps my students enjoy their practices more (and therefore are more likely to do them on their own), but are ultimately most effective in improving their spinal health.

In addition to the yoga postural work I teach, I also include simple dietary and lifestyle recommendations informed by my education in Ayurveda. This helps my students get out of pain and to make progress faster than if we were just using asana. 

I feel so fortunate to have been introduced to yoga while my bones were still setting, and my time spent working with my own body has been by far my greatest teacher. I have special experience working with adolescents with scoliosis and have been told my fun approach and dedication often inspire them to commit to practicing regularly at home.

 

 


Thanks for helping Kaya. I found your explanations to be quite clear and your manner warm and caring (very important in dealing with teens). Kaya says she is practicing every day…I can see how beneficial the practice will be… (four months later) … just to let you know, x-rays show no significant change from 4 months ago, but she has grown a half inch or a little less. I was singing your praises to the doc!
— mother of a 12 year old girl with scoliosis whose curve was growing rapidly prior to yoga with Kate

Helping Adolescents with Scoliosis

I have a special gift for working with adolescents with scoliosis. This time of life is ideal for yoga therapy because the bones of the body are still finding their shape, muscles change quickly, and yoga can be an incredibly potent medicine when practiced regularly. I work with adolescents and their parents to be sure they are clear on the series of postures I have outlined for them to do as home practice, and we meet to re-assess the student’s progress periodically. If you know a young person with scoliosis, enabling them to start an individually tailored yoga practice now can be the gift of a lifetime. 


What are the Benefits?

Over a series of individualized yoga lessons, I help those with scoliosis and back pain:

  • Find greater ease in their bodies
  • Reduce pain
  • Improve physical symmetry
  • Stretch muscles that have tightened & strengthen those that are weak
  • Discover improved posture that allows for enhanced respiration, circulation and overall comfort.
  • Increase their self-esteem
  • Create positive relationships with their bodies
  • Empower themselves to care for their long-term health

Let’s Get Started and Details

Email me or use the Contact page form to set up a time to speak on the phone where you can ask questions and we can plan a time to meet

How long is each lesson? 60 minutes. 

How often do we need to meet? I provide a guide for you to practice with at home as a minimum of three times a week practice is essential for tangible progress. I recommend meeting at least three times to ensure you understand the poses to practice and how to implement them on your own. 

What are the fees? Fees vary depending on the number of lessons you choose. The initial 60-minute lesson investment is $108 and then there are packages for discounted follow up visits. I offer a sliding scale for those in financial need, but please let me know before your session so we can settle on a rate that works for both of us. 

Where will we meet? We can meet where it works best for you. You can choose from the following locations:

  • At your home in the Berkeley/Oakland area
  • Square One Yoga Collective in Emeryville: 1540 62nd St
  • If you’re not local, we can meet via Skype (see below)

What if I need to meet via Skype? All of the above apply and I will need you to send me three photographs of your or your young adult’s back from specific angles before we meet via skype. When we arrange a time to meet, I will include instructions for the photos.

Questions? Please email me at yoginikate[at]gmail.com, and I'll get back to you within 48 hours. 


Read testimonials from students who have worked with Kate below.

Click a review to enlarge. Read all of Kate's yelp reviews here. Reference requests can be made for scoliosis for teens, and I will put you in touch with parents of past students.