I was 8 years old when at a family dinner I kneeled down to put my shoes on and my uncle noticed a bump in my back.
My right rib was protruding out when I bended forward and suddenly my whole family gathered around me and started investigating my body.
We went to a spine specialist, a … and took an x-ray. It was the first time I saw my spine. A strange curvature: ‘like what a river looks like when seen from up a helicopter’ is what I thought.
I couldn’t believe this was in my body, two 30 degrees curves, to the left in my middle back and to the right in my upper back, which also causes the torso to rotate to the left in the middle back and to the right in my upper back. It was unlike any spine I had seen or imagined. I was honestly a little scared, freaked out by the sight of my own spine.
Many doctors appointments would follow, and physiotherapy sessions. They recommended me a brace, a plastic corset around my torso that I would wear 24 hours a day.
When growing up I often felt like a guinea pig to doctors, how often I have had to take my top off for those men to investigate my body!
Doing this YTT course challenged me to come to terms with my spine once again, as an adult. It was very meaningful to have met Jessica as my teacher. She was the first person I met with scoliosis who did yoga, safely. She is so open about this condition and showed me that even with scoliosis you can be incredibly strong and flexible. In many asana’s I learnt to adjust my posture so that I was working against my natural curve to straighten up the spine. Even in a seemingly easy asana like Tadasana I am now actively working my left shoulder, breathing into my left ribcage, elongating my spine.
I cannot believe in some pictures of me in Uttanasa or Paschimottanasa my spine looks close to straight. And can you believe it, I now float up to headstand or tripod headstand. This crooked spine can do it, with the right knowledge and adjustment and focus.
If there is something I would want my students to take from my class is this: whoever you are, whatever your background, whatever injuries you may have, yoga is there to be designed for You. There is no protocol of exam. Yoga is for you. To get to learn your body, enjoy your body, strengthen your body and to celebrate it. Everybody is different and you are enough.
– Na Young Jeon