Are you incredibly flexible or hyper-extended in any of the muscles or joints? If yes, this means you might be a hypermobile yogi. Hypermobility can occur in both muscles and joints. You might have come across thousands of posts about taking micro bends in our elbows and knees to protect the joints, but that will only get you so far. We’ve collated a list of essential yoga adjustments and modifications to help you counteract hypermobility. But first, what’s hypermobility in the first place? Let’s find out!
According to an estimate, around 10-20% of people globally have multiple joints that are relatively more mobile than average. This is known as generalized hypermobility. Some people experience complications, pain, or other symptoms resulting from hypermobility, which may indicate joint hypermobility syndrome. As for others, it’s still important to focus on how they do things they love, especially yoga, in a way that’s healthier for their bodies.
Top Adaptive Yoga Modifications to Counteract Hypermobility
1- Pull Your Wings Down Towards the Back Pockets
No, that’s not a typo! Most hypermobile yoga practitioners with flexible backs and hamstrings end up tilting their pelvis down, arching their backs, and sticking out their guts. This could increase the risk of injuries.
It can easily be counteracted by imagining that you’ve got wings attached to the shoulder blades. Just pull the wings down along the sides to engage the core and stabilize your shoulders. Try it with poses that require you to place pressure on your hands or arms!
2- Squeeze the Cheeks
You must have been taught not to squeeze the cheeks in backbends like wheel and bridge. If you’re hypermobile, try to engage the glutes by squeezing the cheeks in backbends. It’s crucial for protecting the lower back and stabilizing the pelvic region. It helps create a slight anterior tilt in the pelvis, creating more space in the upper and mid-back, allowing you to bend and not break.
3- Claw the Mat
Do your knuckles lift when your hands are on the mat? If yes, consider grounding down through the entire palm by clawing the mat. Investing in high-quality yoga wedges is also helpful in preventing overuse injuries and supporting the wrist adequately during hand lock, or Mula bandha poses. Having a steady hand foundation will help enhance your entire practice! It’s incredibly helpful for plank, downward dog, and arm balancing poses.
Grab a couple of yoga block wedges by Feelio Blocks, even if you’re a seasoned yogi who can touch the floor without needing extra support! They make it easier to sink into deeper stretches while allowing hypermobile yogis to hold themselves in the pose steadily.
Our yoga blocks and accessories are designed carefully using high-quality, durable, and slip-resistant Alder wood to prevent yogis from sinking or stretching too deep into poses, allowing them to actively engage all the muscles while pulling themselves out of their deepest stretches or poses.
Head on to our blog or subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn tips and tricks for cultivating the strength needed to stabilize a hypermobile body. It takes consistent practice, attention, and patience!
While there are no shortcuts to counteracting hypermobility, check out our store to find a range of push-up stand parallettes, wooden yoga wrist blocks, fitness wrist support blocks, and other yoga accessories that can significantly enhance stability and balance.