I would love to know if anyone else deals with hyper-flexibility, and if so, how you manage it with an intermediate-advanced level practice. I am extremely hyper-flexible in my shoulders, and at times find myself going past the point where the asana is supposed to rest (I think!). I have also found it challenging to build strength in the hyperflexible parts of my body. It would be great to hear how others have dealt with this issue! Thanks in advance!
That’s a very interesting question. I have the same condition and have to take care not to overdo it, especially regarding the lower back and the knees. My solution is to (try to) tense the muscles of the belly and not to go into full flexion of the knees (which also means to tense the thigh muscles). Regarding the shoulders I guess you could also try to tense the muscles of the upper back to not go too deep into the poses.
Of course building strength in these areas would be important (NOT my favourite exercises…). There are some classes that teach this kind of engagement of the muscles, like Rachel’s “Empower your Boundaries” or Fiji’s series of Vinyasa Yoga for lower back care. Also all classes that have the word “core strength” in their description…
These are just my two cents, I would love to read other opinions…
Yes, you’ve covered it quite well. It’s all about stability and learning how to stabilize the shoulders and lower back. In reference to the shoulders, even though the stabilizers are found in the front and back of the body, the focus is often in the, since that is where the shoulder blades are and we, as humans, tend to be forward focused. Going into shoulder stability requires some depth, but you can begin by concentrating on pressing the shoulderblades into the rib cage, keeping them as flat as you can, and holding them there while doing whatever pose you are in. I’ve realized that many people have this question so I plan to create a video on shoulder stabilization soon.
We do have plenty of videos on core stability and strength, though. Let me know if you would like me to recommend specific videos.
Thanks for this! I have made so much progress in building strength over the past two years of daily practice at DYWM, and I’ll be sure to look for core stability videos. This site is an incredible resource and has truly changed my life!