Many yoga teachers and students have a degree of hypermobility, often without being aware of it. At some point though, there can be a sense that something is not quite right.
The experience and impact of joints that move beyond the average range of motion sits on a broad spectrum and can vary greatly from individual to individual. Hypermobility can be asymptomatic and even seem advantageous, at least initially, in the case of yoga or physical practice. It can also be debilitating.
There are currently several subtypes of Generalised Joint Hypermobility, Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder and Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome.
Hypermobility is most commonly understood to be caused by an inherited difference in connective tissue (principally collagen). As connective tissue is ubiquitous and important throughout the body, we can see how hypermobility can be a multi-systemic condition. You can read more in Carol’s article here.
For the sake of injury prevention, enjoyment and longevity, those of us with hypermobility benefit from specific and individual guidance for yoga practice. With self-awareness, we are then able to confidently take part in suitable group classes. This in turn has a positive impact on our experience of daily life.
Carol’s approach is based on her work with individuals with various presentations of hypermobility, research and personal experience. Some of the areas we explore, according to the needs of each individual, can include:
* Developing proprioception (awareness of where we are/move in space, agility, balance and co-ordination)
* Trusting interoception (sensing the internal experience of the body) as a guide for our practice
* Containment rather than strain
* Gentle and gradual strengthening
* How to use props to access a felt-sense of a helpful end range of movement
* Protecting vulnerable areas such as the SI (sacroiliac) joints
* Somatic release for tension
* Easing of stress and anxiety
* Yogic wisdom for a fulfilling and supportive yoga practice for hypermobility
* Practices that are helpful for associated conditions
If you’re a teacher, Carol offers a CPD day on Hypermobility and Yoga – Risks, Skills Development and Longevity through the British Wheel of Yoga, yoga studios and privately. Please contact her if this is of interest.
The next CPD day is online on Sunday, 26 June 2022, hosted by BWY South East.