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Yoga and Hypermobility: What Every Yoga Teacher Needs To Know

Graphic with information about hypermobility webinar

Guest Host Libby Hinsley, Doctor of Physical Therapy and Certified Yoga Therapist specializing in the treatment of chronic pain, hypermobility disorders, and yoga-related injuries, joins the beYogi Webinar Series. Libby joins us to explain the idea behind hypermobility and why it is such an important topic in the yoga community.

She has taught yoga for 17 years and has trained yoga teachers for over a decade. Her new book — Yoga for Bendy People: Optimizing the benefits of yoga for hypermobility explores how people with joint hypermobility can avoid injury and instead, use the tools of yoga to support their thriving. The book is for all yoga teachers as well as bendy practitioners. Libby is also the co-founder of Anatomy Bites, a monthly membership for yoga teachers who want to learn anatomy in a fun, supportive, and highly relevant way.

Yoga and Hypermobility: What Every Yoga Teacher Needs To Know

What is joint hypermobility? 

  • Hypermobility simply describes a joint’s ability to move more than is considered “normal” or “typical.” 
  • Hypermobility by itself isn’t pathological. Some people have hypermobility and no symptoms. 
  • Having 5 or more hypermobile joints is considered “generalized” hypermobility.

What does it mean to have a hypermobility syndrome?

  • Hypermobility syndrome is what we call symptomatic hypermobility 
  • The most common hypermobility syndromes include Hypermobility Spectrum Disorder (HSD) and Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (hEDS).
  • Symptoms can include joint dislocation/subluxation, joint and myofascial pain, impaired proprioception and coordination
  • Other common challenges include mental health, autonomic, digestive, and immune dysfunctions.

How can bendy people avoid injury in yoga practice? 

  • Avoid prolonged passive stretching at end range
  • Avoid positions most likely to cause shoulder dislocation 
  • Focus on inner experience rather than performance

How can yoga practice specifically support those with hypermobility? 

  • Smaller and slower movements 
  • Stability
  • Wise relationship with stretching 
  • Wise sequencing, verbal cues, and hands-on assists
  • Calming the nervous system 
  • Focusing the mind
  • Ethical principles for self-care

Yoga for Bendy E-book by Libby Hinsley is currently on sale through the end of May for $0.99. Follow this link to grab the e-book. The paperback edition will be available June 15!

Lizzy Prindle
Lizzy has been practicing yoga for over four years. She found her practice as her collegiate swimming career was ending; looking for a new hobby she began taking yoga classes and never looked back. She has carried her yogi mindset into her role as beYogi’s brand manager. Working alongside many teachers, studio owners, and yoga brands she has helped expand beYogi’s all-inclusive yoga insurance policy into an education-based membership offering much more than coverage.