Jessica is Founder of IHA Yoga which is a fun and hip Teacher Training Academy in Singapore. She is daughter of former female bodybuilding champion Jojo Sinclair and suffered from scoliosis since she was a kid. Pain and numbness in her back were a daily occurrence but in year 2012 the doctors told her that her curvature of the spine had become severe and that if she were to continue with her lifestyle she could risk permanent damage on herself.
She had her first taste of Yoga after doctors recommended she take up Yoga for therapy and only two months into her Yoga classes, she realized that all side effects from her Scoliosis were diminishing. Aesthetically, her crooked back was straightening out and her clothes begun to fit better. (ihayoga.com)
Here are two of Jessica’s tips to elongate and strengthen the back:
Downward Facing Dog
It’s very important that you watch the back posture in this pose. Engage the core, try to keep the back straight and shoulders should be depressed away from ears. When the body has opened in Downward Facing Dog, try to deepen the stretch by bringing elbows down to the mat into Dolphin Pose keeping elbows in. Ideally the heels touch the floor, but that’s not important depending on flexibility. If you feel the shoulders locking do further the distance between the elbows and the feet.
Three Legged Downward Dog
To prep for the pose, stretch out tight hamstrings, quads and hip flexors first (forward fold, downward dog, hero pose lying back) When your in a downward facing dog, ground the heel of the bottom leg into the floor and press firmly into your hands. Engage the glutes, core & shoulders and press the shoulders away from your ears as you lift the top leg (whichever of your choice ?).