Having hyperextended knees, elbows, fingers, hips and shoulders give me higher challenges in practicing yoga. I never felt uneasy since I was a kid whenever I locked my knees and elbows beyond the normal range of motion until I practiced Trikonasana and Prasarita Padottanasana.
Prior to these two poses, hyperextending the joints always give me more support and strength, and it feels good. However I notice by doing so over time, it does not actually give me more strength because it is not my muscles that are supporting me but the ligaments supporting it are being put under a lot of stress. And it is commonly found with weak muscles around it. I started to feel discomfort when I had to hold in Trikonasana and Prasarita Padottanasana for long, the feeling like I was going to break my joints anytime soon which is kinda scary, I had to release and go back to locking position every five or ten seconds or so. I could feel that it will lead to serious injury down the road if I continue locking my knees to hold in poses.
Until the concept of micro bending came to me and I started trying without locking my joints, I know my yoga practice ain’t going to be easy, and in fact more difficult than the majority without hypermobility joints because more muscles have to be engaged by micro bending to hold in poses. Although it requires more strength, it does good to our muscles and joints and causes no injury. As such, muscles and strength will be built even faster.
Using such architecture of bones with hypermobility joints to provide the stability needed to stay in the pose does not help us to build our muscles; locking it so our muscles can relax and at the same time injuring ourselves and lead to arthritis or ligament damage in the long run. Correctly micro bending the joints in physical activities can prevent injury. Alternatively, accompanied by padding or braces around the affected joints, it can remind us to move and engage the right muscles correctly.
— Shu (aka Sharon Chong)
— 200hrs YTT, Sept 2017 (Weekend)
— Blog 4/4