Ayurveda For Scoliosis by Devon Ray Battaglia

According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, scoliosis, a condition characterized by an abnormal curvature of the spine, affects an estimated 2-3 percent of the population, or 6-9 million people in the United States. I am one of them. 

While the experience of scoliosis can vary from person to person, it often leads to physical discomfort, pain, and emotional challenges that can affect the overall quality of life. Life with a curvy spine brings many unique adventures, which those with a straight spine simply can’t understand. 

Over the years, I’ve explored many different paths to assist me in managing and embracing my curvy spine. I have usually gravitated towards more holistic, natural modalities that empowered my innate wisdom and ability to create more wholeness from within (partly why I love Scolio-Pilates® so dearly). 

One such modality that has truly been revelatory for me is Ayurveda. In addition to being the proud inhabitant of a body with a curvy spine, I am also an Integrative Health Expert, Ayurvedic Health Adviser, and Holistic Life Coach.

This article will explore scoliosis through the lens of nature’s wisdom and specifically, Ayurveda, as well as share some of my best practices and techniques for thriving with scoliosis.

Living Nature’s Wisdom: Ayurveda

Ayurveda is a 5,000 year old holistic system of living and healing from India. Rooted in nature’s elegant wisdom, this beautiful blend of science and spirit offers insights and practices to address imbalances from the inside. 

Differing from a more one-size-fits-all paradigm, Ayurveda always seeks to address the root cause of imbalance, views each individual as a unique expression of nature and the elements, and tailors interventions accordingly. 

Ayurveda views all of existence as being unique compositions of each of the five elements – air, space, water, fire, and earth. These five elements are divided into three constitutions or “doshas.”

Vata represents air and space. 

Pitta represents fire and water. 

Kapha represents water and earth.

While we each have all five elements within us, they are in different proportions. Typically one dosha is more prominent than the others. Ayurveda believes that through recognizing and embracing our own unique nature and elemental composition, we are able to live in balance with greater health, clarity, and vitality. 

Rather than a rigid set of “rules,” Ayurveda offers guidance and emphasizes personal responsibility and developing trust in one’s own lived experiences as they observe how different inputs (foods, activities, etc.) interact with their constitution. 

Understanding Scoliosis from an Ayurvedic Perspective

When it comes to scoliosis, Ayurveda views it as an imbalance in the body’s natural alignment, specifically as a result of an increase in vata dosha (the air and space elements). 

Vata is responsible for things like movement, the nervous system, as well as bones. A high presence of vata can lead to dysfunction with these body parts, among many other ailments and symptoms.

Vata is also responsible for characteristics such as creativity, spontaneity, enthusiasm, playfulness, and being dynamic, intuitive, and expressive.

It is said that vata is the most important dosha to keep in balance as it is the substrate of all the other elements, as well as the catalyst for every single action, movement, and impulse in the body and mind. 

Making vata our friend is crucial if we wish to move in the direction of balance. 

Keeping Vata Happy: Creating Balance With Opposites

A prime teaching in Ayurveda that has been a game-changer for me to live by is the principle of “like increases like and opposites bring balance.” 

According to Ayurveda, the qualities of vata, and therefore scoliosis, are dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile. These qualities are not inherently “bad” – nothing in Ayurveda (or nature, for that matter) is either “bad” or “good.” All the elements and their associated qualities are necessary parts of life; we are simply seeking to cultivate a dynamic state of balance. 

When there’s too much vata without its opposing qualities of oily, heavy, warm, smooth, dense, and static, imbalance and undesired symptoms can result.

As evidenced by our curvy spines, scolis all have a lot of vata in their systems. If I add more vata through modern-day, vata-provoking lifestyle habits (more on that in a moment), then I could begin to have trouble! 

However, when I know my nature and accept that it contains a lot of air and ether and I will therefore be more sensitive to that which is dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile, I can endeavor to ensure my life is full of things that represent the counter qualities.

Vata-Provoking & Vata-Pacifying

Vata-provoking lifestyle habits are things that literally and/or energetically bring the qualities of dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile. This can include things like dry and/or processed foods, lots of screentime, multitasking, caffeine and other stimulants, irregular meal and sleeping times, lots of travel, not getting proper periods of rest, silence, and stillness, and more. Sound familiar? 

As the vata-provoking qualities of these and/or other activities mix with vata that is already elevated, we may experience uncomfortable symptoms. 

Things like the following are all associated with elevated vata: increased pain, anxiousness, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, indecision, fear and overthinking, insecurity, and feeling spacey or foggy. 

Additionally, trouble sleeping, dry skin, feeling cold, fatigue and irregular energy, constipation, gas, sensitivity to sound, ringing ears, bone issues (osteopenia, osteoporosis, scoliosis, etc.), and more are also associated with elevated vata.

I’ve known many scolis (myself included) who can identify with experiencing many of the things I’ve just listed! How about you?

Keeping vata happy by encouraging lifestyle practices that bring in vata’s opposing qualities (oily, heavy, warm, smooth, dense, and static) would be an excellent priority for every modern human. 

And as a modern human with scoliosis? To manage scoliosis symptoms, enhance quality of life, and even halt curve progression, let’s treat keeping vata happy like it is a loving duty to our well-being!

Fun Bonus: Get to Know Yourself

I invite you to think of these qualities of nature and vata dosha (dry, light, cool, rough, subtle, and mobile) as both literal AND metaphorical. These qualities are both literal, as in we can have a tangible experience of them, and they are also metaphorical or energetic, meaning we may have an intangible experience of them. 

For example, be mindful of what you experience if you consume rough foods (raw, crunchy, dry things), as well as rough ways of speaking to yourself (with criticism or judgment).

With more practice and awareness, you’ll soon discover your own unique tendencies and the ways that your scoliosis responds to various inputs. 

Ayurveda’s Approach to Managing Scoliosis

When it comes to managing scoliosis, Ayurveda emphasizes the importance of a holistic approach that nurtures the mind, body, and spirit. Some of my favorite Ayurvedic practices, rooted in nature’s wisdom, that can help restore balance and support scoliosis management (read: keep vata very happy) include:

Nourish Your Body with Vata-Pacifying Foods

Favor foods that have the opposing qualities to vata – warm, cooked, unctuous, grounding. Additionally, eating at regular times each day in a comfortable, calm, still manner works wonders! 

Be Mindful of Stimulants

Be mindful of stimulants like caffeine and even chocolate, which for many can increase symptoms of pain, anxiousness, and restlessness – even if your mind likes to tell you that’s not the case. 😉

Establish a Consistent Daily Routine

Soothe vata’s irregularity and sensitivity to irregularity by establishing a consistent daily routine that honors the body’s natural rhythms. Have balanced meals at regular intervals, go to bed and rise at the same time each day. 

Embrace Gentle, Mindful Exercise

Engaging in gentle, mindful exercises like Scolio-Pilates help us to ground into our bodies, increasing body awareness, as well as flexibility, strength, stamina, and confidence.

Practice Pranayama for Mind-Body Balance

Practicing gentle, appropriate pranayama (breathing exercises) can calm the mind, reduce stress, and help to balance vata. It has also helped me to manage episodes of physical discomfort with greater ease. 

Indulge in Daily Self-Massage (Abhyanga)

A daily practice of “abyangha” or the application of warm oil for a full body self-massage has become a cherished act of self-love for me. The oil is quite nourishing and I definitely notice a difference in my sense of feeling more present, fluid, and easeful in my body.

Nurture Your Senses and Energy

Be mindful of how you use your senses and your energetic capacity. Pushing past these limits and abusing the senses is a surefire way to elevate vata. Be mindful of screen time and moderate as you’re able. Be aware of excess noise and enjoy periods of silence or with pleasing sounds/music. Additionally, notice how things like rough textures/fabrics and harsh or artificial scents impact you.

My hope is that perhaps you may now view Ayurveda and nature’s wisdom as an additional tool in your scoliosis management toolkit, one that taps into your innate healing potential and encourages you to develop a deeper relationship with yourself.

My Experiences

Understanding my unique constitution (hello, lots of vata!) and coming to view my mind, body, energy, and spine through the lens of nature, has been the biggest game changer of all time. 

Choosing to lead my life and decision-making with the principles of “like increases like and opposites bring balance” helped me to stop trying to do things just because they are “normal” or because I think I “have” to. 

While things like consuming caffeine, doing too much, overworking, skipping meals, multitasking, skimping on sleep, seem to be “normal” modern day habits, they are not serving anyone – especially scolis. 

Remember, if we increase vata through our daily habits, we may experience greater pain and discomfort, anxiousness, restlessness, difficulty sleeping and concentrating, and over time, perhaps issues with our bones and curve progression. 

My daily non-negotiables are movement (I love Scolio-Pilates, yoga, cycling, hiking, and gardening!), abyangha (oiling my body), regular meals of delicious whole foods, a consistent sleep/wake schedule, and a spiritual practice of meditation and pranayama (breath practice). 

The benefits of these practices truly compound over time and have positively impacted every facet of my life. Over the last several years, my curve has significantly improved (especially with the addition of Scolio-Pilates!), my pain and discomfort have decreased, my digestion has healed, my mind and emotions have found greater ease and flow, my confidence and sense of inner security have increased exponentially, and so much more.

As I let go of the beliefs that I was “weak” or “different” and stopped overriding my nature, everything changed for me. The practices of Ayurveda have been a tremendous gift to me and I am grateful to share them with others.


In closing, Ayurveda is a timeless, unchanging, system that’s rooted in nature’s wisdom and is accessible to everyone. With an emphasis on coming to know and embrace our unique nature, we can not only manage scoliosis, but enhance our overall quality of life from the inside. 

Get to know yourself – body, mind, spirit – as you lovingly and curiously explore how nature and the elements play out in your system. Explore how your scoliosis and experience of it respond to different inputs. Remember the principle of “like increases like and opposites bring balance.”

We truly have the power and wisdom within ourselves to thrive, and nature is always here to guide us towards more and more wholeness – curvy spines and all. 

It is refreshing and empowering to experience the results that have come with intentionally aligning with nature’s wisdom and making the practices of Ayurveda my foundation. For me, self-love, acceptance, gentleness, and awareness are powerful medicines.

While Ayurveda and the holistic practices mentioned in this article can be helpful, safe, complementary approaches to managing scoliosis, they should not replace professional medical advice and treatment. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your scoliosis management plan or incorporating new practices into your routine. 

For more personalized support, consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner.


Devon Ray Battaglia, MS, AHA, ACC is the creator and nurturing guide behind The InnerSpark Method. She brings her heartfelt dedication as an Integrative Health Expert, Ayurvedic Health Advisor, and Holistic Coach to guide folks from stressed and overwhelmed to vibrant health, energy, and peace by teaching them how to simplify their lives, sync with nature’s rhythms, and cultivate resilience – without having to abandon all aspects of modern life or figure it out on their own.

With a rich tapestry of expertise in holistic nutrition, integrative health, energy healing, flower essence therapy, Ayurveda, yoga, meditation, breathwork, coaching, and Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy, Devon’s approach is a harmonious blend of professional knowledge and personal, embodied experience. She views Nature as an essential, living classroom, continually shaping her personal growth and professional practice.

Learn more at www.innerspark.life

Follow Devon on social media at www.instagram.com/_innerspark_/

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Ayurveda For Scoliosis by Devon Ray Battaglia