Yoga can be used to improve our flexibility, but if we are not practicing carefully, it may cause a hypermobility (the loss of control at a joint). This is what can lead to injury.
In order to bring our bodies into better balance, we need to emphasize stability with our practice. Over the next few posts, I will be mentioning some of the most common hypermobilities seen in yoga class and how to prevent them. If we can activate the small stabilizing muscles close to each joint, we can improve strength and minimize joint wear and tear.
Movement System Impairment Syndromes
The concepts of hypermobility and stability I am using come from a physical therapy great, Dr. Shirley Sahrmann. Dr. Sahrmann has been a physical therapist for 50 years, lectures all over the world, and has written 2 textbooks that have been published in 7 languages. I first learned about her concepts of movement in graduate school, and was thrilled to meet her earlier this year at a course in St. Louis. I highly recommend her Movement System Impairment Syndromes courses to my PT friends!
Dr. Sahrmann’s work (which is backed up by years of research and randomized controlled trials) has given me words for what I have been seeing in the clinic and in the yoga studio. Improving joint stability with exercise decreases pain and minimizes joint “wear and tear.”
But our movements need to be controlled and specific, or they can lead to hypermobility and pain. Many times in yoga we are not careful enough.
This is where I come in :)
My intention is to use my understanding of Dr. Sahrmann’s work, along with my experience with yoga asana, pilates and core stabilization to show you more about how your body works. You will learn to move more efficiently in the process, avoiding injury and minimizing joint wear and tear that can lead to arthritis.