If you've hypermobile joints, work on strengthening your muscles to compensate.

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If you have ever been to a yoga course and have been struck with envy over students who can hyperextend their joints in order to carry out flawless presents, don’t be. Hypermobile or loose joints can trigger injury, strains and stress. In time it could even result in secondary osteoarthritis– a condition sometimes caused by injury. Doing yoga with hypermobile joints implies focusing your efforts on proper positioning, strengthening your large muscle groups and fighting the urge to go deeper in a posture just due to the fact that you can.

Step 1

Work on developing strength in your big muscles like the quads and glutes when doing standing yoga postures. If you look closely at people with hypermobile joints standing in Mountain present– standing at attention– they seem to look posture perfect. However upon closer assessment, it’s most likely that their knees are pushed in, triggering the backs of the knees to jut out. Leave your knees in neutral positions and instead draw your quadriceps muscles– the huge muscles in your upper thighs– up and away from the knees.

Step 2

Lift the backs of your knees off the floor during forward flexes. Slip your hands under the backs of each knee. Raise somewhat to develop area in positions like Seated Forward Bend. In this posture, you’re sitting on the floor with your legs outstretched in front of you, reaching toward your toes with your hands. Keep your feet bent and avoid laying your torso on top your legs when you flex forward by keeping your back straight and the front of your upper body somewhat raised. Follow a forward flex with a back flex in order to strengthen the lower pelvis if your sacroiliac joints are hypermobile.

Step 3

Avoid hyperextending your hips and sacrum during back bends by working on your core or stomach muscles. There’s a natural forward tilt of your sacrum called nutation. For individuals with hypermobile joints who exercise back bends in yoga, this tilt can be overemphasized, which can cause compression of the lower spinal column. Reinforce your transverse stomach muscles by performing leg lifts or any abdominal workout for your lower abdomen.

Step 4

Resist the urge to hyperextend your joints in even the easiest of yoga poses. Yoga is a voyage into your body, mind and soul. If you can do positions completely without even attempting, there’s nothing for you to find out. Concentrate on the proper alignment for all postures that you’d typically hyperextend your joints. Ask a licensed yoga therapist to offer you an assessment. Work with her to fix your alignment and learn ways to neutralize the impacts of hypermobile joints.