LETTER TO THE EDITOR – Yoga and Back Condition, Vocal Disorder Syndrome

Yoga Helping with Back Condition and Vocal Disorder Syndrome

(From Vol. 2, No. 1 – Jul. 2014)

[Ms. Harris, a local Minister, has diagnosed scoliosis (lower lumbar) curved to the right based on x-ray, and also vocal disorder syndrome affecting larynx. She writes as follows:]

Before I started yoga practice, I had difficulties getting into an upright position after standing up; it would take about five minutes before I could gradually stand upright. Now, the pain subsides within seconds after I rise from a sitting position. While sweeping up trash from the floor, I used to be stiff and walk strange. That does not happen any longer. Previously, I was unable to work for an entire day without (frequent?) breaks; now, I don’t have to stop. I started out with a pain level of 8 on a scale of 1-10, when working; following just six weeks of yoga practice, the pain level has been reduced to 4, half of the original level. I avoid doing postures like plow pose Halasan), cow face pose (Gomukhasan) and twisting postures (Vakrasan). The triangle pose to the right was at first limited, but now it is getting better.

In addition, about ten years ago, I had trouble with breathing; I was diagnosed with vocal disorder syndrome — the airway condition that affects the larynx and closes up the airway passage. My doctor told me that I needed to learn how to breathe again. However, he never showed me how to breathe better, so I didn’t understand what that doctor meant by needing learning to breathe. Recently when I attended the yoga class and Dr. Sarkar demonstrated breathing techniques, which I now have used on a daily basis, I understand what the doctor meant a decade ago. The yoga breathing exercises make me feel good; I do them every morning. As a minister at my church, during Sunday worship services I always needed a glass of water to sip in between the service talk due to my airway passage issues, but now I have noticed that I no longer need to sip water during the talk.

Sheila - Letter to the EditorSheila P. Harris
Hampton, VA