What shall I do to help avoid hyperextension in my joints in yoga practice?

Hi Angelica,

I encourage you to strengthen your joints especially in your legs. Excessive mobility is often due to laxity in the ligaments, so you should begin to build more strength (and proper alignment) throughout your joint spaces. This may require a slight bend in your elbow or knee in weight bearing.

Focus on the standing poses. Standing poses help stabilize the tendons and cartilage at your knees and ankles. In tadasana and down dog regularly squeeze a block between your inner thighs. This will add stability to your leg structure. Lift up and out of your joints without pressing back into your joints. On my website read “From the Ground Up”. It will be helpful in order to gain a sense for how to strengthen your feet. Practice standing poses strengthen the arches of your feet.

One Response to “What shall I do to help avoid hyperextension in my joints in yoga practice?”

  1. Sonia

    Hi Tias,

    I recently began experiencing knee pain and I would like to know which poses you recommend that I abstain from (if any). Are there some poses that will aid in the healing process?

    Dear Sonia,

    To prevent hyper-extension it is best to strengthen your quadriceps, the muscles on the front of your thighs. This is best done by lunging poses such as Warrior I and II, the Flank Pose (parsvakonasana) and utkatasana, the “chair” pose. These lunges will help strengthen all the cartilage and tendons that comprise the knee joint. In order to help strengthen your quads and counter-balance hyper-mobility, try straightening your leg against resistance. That is place a block under your front leg calf muscle in triangle pose and press down against the block, in such a way that the block resists the movement toward hyper-extension.
    When doing standing poses with straight legs, it is important to micro-bend at the knee. This will take pressure off the back of your knee (where the sciatic nerve runs). Consider aligning your femur bones directly over the tibia (lower shin bone) so that you are transmitting force through the bones, not into the soft tissues at the back of your knee. When in standing poses with legs straight, ground the front two corners of foot (the base of your little toe and base of your big toe), thereby shifting the shin bone ever so slightly toward your toes.

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