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Thread: Does yoga for scoliosis by Elise Miller help ?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2008

    Red face Does yoga for scoliosis by Elise Miller help ?


    I wanted to know how people suffering from scoliosis, feel about trying 'Yoga for Scoliosis' - by Elise Miller ( ?

    I also wanted to give a shot to one of her workshops but wanted to see if it can be of any help.

    Also, do u think it can have a negative impact ?


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    I was once personally coached by her in a long session. The next day I was so sore that I could not do the exercises. After a few days I had forgotten the details, and the written instructions were not very helpful. Waste of money.

    I have not seen her video, but if it's very old I would be skeptical of it. Yoga can be helpful if the instructor *really* knows what she is doing, but I frankly wonder if Elise does, in the final analysis.

    Lately she is investigating the Schroth method and may attempt to incorporate that into her program. Even so, a generic video is not going to do wonders.

    The reason that a video meant for everybody is unlikely to help you is that each case of scoliosis is somewhat unique. You need a diagnosis and tailored exercises. Stretches or exercises that may be very helpful for one person may be neutral or even counterproductive for another. For instance, if my main curve is right thoracic and yours is left thoracic, or left thoraco-lumbar, a knowledgeable physiotherapist or yoga therapist would not prescribe us the same exercises.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    I haven't done the video, but I do attend yoga classes at a studio here in NYC ( that specializes in scoliosis (they even have a class specifically for those with rods in their back). I think Elise has done workshops with them in the past, and some of their teachers have trained with her. So while I can't speak specifically for that video, I can say yoga that is specific to scoliosis and imbalances has helped my aches and pains greatly! I don't even go that often, but it's amazing how such seemingly-simple things can be so hard and can stretch and strengthen muscles you had no idea existed. It really does help, in my opinion.

    So I would say that video does indeed help, but to echo the above poster, you do need to fully understand your curve (and fusion if you have one) so that you don't do things that aren't good for your particular situation. With that in mind, if you're able to attend a class or workshop, go for it. Yes, you might be very sore, but it's a good sore, and if you write down what you learned and you continue with even just a few moves from it, I think it really does help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    I got the video for my daughter and I. Elise does have variations of some of the exercises for the different scoliosis types, and I think it would be a help to anyone that might be able to stick with it. We did not stick with it, because we really couldn't stand her voice and the way she spoke in the video. I know that's petty, but we all have our quirks, mine and my daughters appear to be not tolerating certain voices.
    We do have another yoga video where the instructor has a soothing voice and way of speaking. When we are able to make ourselves do that one it really works with fitness and pain relief, although its not scoli specific, so there are certain things in that one that my daughter has to skip.
    So to wrap up, my opinion is that any stretching, strengthening yoga will help as long as you know your limitations. Only do whats comfortable, relieving and relaxing. If you go with Elise Miller's video just take it slow and work up to the whole thing, don't try to do everything at the start of any kind of exercise routine video.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Williams Bay Wis...half-way between Milwaukee & Chi-town on the shores of Lake Geneva

    Yoga helps me...!!! everyone...I'm a new forum member, just starting today...and I am very much a big fan of yoga, particularly, the Kundalini method...which unlocks the chakras in the spine.

    Every single second of every single exercise is exhilerating for me, and I only wish I had stumbled upon this Yoga stuff...long, long ago...

    I have very serious Kyphoscoliosis...I don't even wanna know my angles and such...Too late for any more surgeries now...(I'm 46) so finding Yoga has been quite a nice blessing...somewhat...

    (I kinda stumbled upon your Scoliosis Forum when searching for any info on your fellow member, Frankie Bush, who I heard was in rough shape...Me and Frankie, are good friends, who both had some work done(surgeries) up in Minneapolis, back in the early 90's...)

    I do plan on buying this Scoliosis Video, from Elise Miller, and give it a go...probably doing a more modified/restricted form of what she teaches....cuz' I can't get on the floor, all the way and feel I only do standing up exercises and exercises in a chair....

    Thanks for sharing...very, very much...
    Last edited by jimoleary; 01-21-2009 at 10:34 AM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    As there isn't anyone making workout routines public for those affected by scoliosis (that's probably cos they're not effective enough, and the ones which are in fact effective they want to make some money out of..) I wonder why not to keep one thread to talk about exercises, those having the same type of scoliosis can make up their own mind if the exercises work for them or not. I personally found the Elise Miller DVD totally useless, and the Schroth book useless and confusing.

    For instance, this guys makes some sense, shame his choice of words is completely wrong, that alone won't straighten your spine sunshine..

    This one could be useful as well

    This not so sure about but feel free to comment..

    There are some preposterous videos that should be censored because they promise to cure scoliosis in days.. but I think that for everyone there must be some sort of routine that's appropriate for our specific type of scoliosis. I personally exercise a lot on the Swiss ball, and also have Swedish bars on the wall. Shoul anyone have a routine that makes some sense, maybe read on a book or watched on a DVD feel free to share your views, I'm specifically looking for exercises for derotating and lenghtening the spine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011

    Mixed Feelings about Yoga and Elise Miller

    I did yoga for many years and found it very helpful. I liked Iyengar yoga, which pays attention to alignment. My preference was always gentle or beginner classes, not because I couldn't do more difficult poses, but because it was better for me to go slow and stay gentle and pay attention to what I was doing.

    I attended two of Elise Miller's workshops and really liked the first one, but attended the second after increasing my problems after carrying something too heavy. I wasn't in good shape and debated about attending that day. I attended anyway and started not to feel good and wanted to sit down and just watch, but Elise pushed me to stand up and in her words "at least try each pose." Stupidly I listened and was worse off later. I wasn't impressed that she pushed me not to listen to my body and did this in front of a large class, which is probably what made me listen. (I did use Elise's DVDs for years before I attended her workshops and did like them.)

    So before my problems accelerated I found yoga and Elise's yoga very useful, but when I got worse the yoga (certain poses or too much) aggrevated my problems. I do continue to do a couple of limited poses. After Elise, months later, I tried with another yoga for scoliosis teacher and I think it could have been good, but I only wanted to do 15 minutes of yoga, but she encouraged me to do an hour. She was well meaning and I know I have to listen to my body, but in that case I didn't feel my mistake till after. So if you have problems, start slow and listen to your body

    Another yoga for scoliosis teacher told me that the most important yoga poses is corpse pose or relaxation pose (good advice) and I do that every day and meditate and it is not a solution, but is helpful. Meditation is great and can be helpful for anyone.

    Also, I am not currently doing it, but before my problems accelerated I found it very helpful to hang upside down on the wall as is done in Iyengar classes.
    60 degree thorocolumbar curve beginning at T12
    58 years old

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