Marcia Monroe is an expert in yoga and she currently teaches it. Her book has numerous photos throughout describing how to do the moves. Each move has props, benefits, placement, and any notes detailing the moves, and if there is a variation, Monroe lists the benefits and what to do to accomplish the goals. She does a really good describing each of the moves, and gives a thorough introduction to scoliosis and why yoga is so helpful for the condition.
Yoga and Scoliosis provides a thorough collection of yoga poses modified for scoliosis patients. As an adult who was treated with a back brace in adolescence, I was interested to see how I might approach yoga for the first time. As others have noted, the author recommends studying with a teacher and the pictures all show placement of props that would be difficult to achieve on one's own.
She also notes that this book is meant to be a supplement to a reference on poses, modified for scoliosis, but not a substitute for such a reference. It may be this book would be more helpful to a yoga teacher who wants to teach clients with scoliosis than to the clients themselves. It's apparent that the author, Marcia Monroe, is an experienced yoga practitioner whose credibility stems from having scoliosis, studying with Iyengar, and having seen--and personally experienced--positive results from the many poses that are described in great detail.
Throughout, there is explanation of yoga philosophy as it relates to helping relieve the spinal imbalances that can result from scoliosis, and how awareness of one's exact personal situation needs to be considered, via self-awareness and via an experienced yoga instructor. The book gives the reader with scoliosis a great understanding of what would be expected and what the poses would look like if he or she were to hire a yoga instructor which the author highly recommends who can assess and assist.
Monroe speaks to the reader who has scoliosis, but it's quite clear that the instructions are not for the yoga beginner. In other words, you can't just read the book and then do the poses; you need an experienced yoga instructor who can help you do it right. Many of the poses require the use of a variety of props that need to be applied during the poses. A beginner would likely not have enough self-awareness to know where or when to put the props.
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It seems that the complicated pose instructions are more for an instructor than for the person with scoliosis. What this book provides is a great understanding of why and how a variety of poses can help balance one's entire body if they are performed on a regular basis. After reading this book, even an experienced yogi should find an experienced yoga instructor who specializes in scoliosis who can assess, assist, and develop a personalized practice that could, eventually, be performed on a regular basis without an instructor.
- Yoga and Scoliosis: A Journey to Health and Healing by Marcia Monroe (Paperback, 2011);
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To say more about self-awareness and yoga, Monroe emphasizes imbalance, which is something we all have; each one of us has one side that is stronger than the other. Monroe encourages starting out with the weaker side when we begin to walk.
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She points out need to become more aware of our tendencies. Do you tend to tilt your head to one side? Do you always carry things on one side and maybe lift your shoulder a little to bear the weight?
Switch sides. Keep your shoulders level. Strengthen your weaker side. She points out that even our eyes have a dominant side. She also discusses the need for balance in lives and the need to have the things around us organized.
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It's all very interesting. And these things we can all incorporate into our daily lives. The books has a good deal of information in helping those with scoliosis find a way to incorporate yoga into their personal fitness routine. While it is illustrated the pictures are somewhat small and not in color, but the directions are straightforward. Some of the required equipment can be difficult to get used to, but overall a great resource.
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Yoga and Scoliosis : A Journey to Health and Healing [Paperback]
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