Yoga for Healthy Joints

Joint injuries in yoga occur due to the excessive demands we place on them. It is usually a desire to achieve an image, an idea of ​​posture that is implemented in our mind from the outside, followed by disrespect for the authentic anatomy and dynamics of our own body. Hence, joint injuries are among the most common in yoga.

The joints, to put it simply, wear out irreversibly with movement. Unlike them, muscles and tendons like to move, to be active, they like increased activity and repetitive movements. Stretched tendons and muscles recover and heal, but ligaments do NOT. The ligaments are inelastic, and once stretched, elongated, they CANNOT RETURN. Their purpose is to keep the joints together. When you “open” a joint, for example, a hip, pay attention to what is and where is the blockage, what actually interferes with movement. If you feel that your muscles are mobile, that you can relax them, be very careful because maybe the next “opening” actually means an irreversible stretching of the ligament. The joint will be held together, the ligament will stretch more and more with exercise, but after one point it will be so stretched that it will no longer have its optimal function. Then the joint becomes unprotected and its degeneration inevitably begins. It should be borne in mind that this process takes place below our level of sensitivity, no matter how convinced we are that as yoga practitioners we are sensitive and that our body sensitivity is great. The human skeleton is not innervated. When we feel pain in the joint, some damage has already been done. This has been felt by many long-time masters of yoga, ending up on the operating table after decades of virtuoso practice.

The knee suffers in attempts to perform the lotus (padmasana), and thus achieves the “right” yoga pose: the hips do not allow, and the knee suffers rotation which naturally, with its anatomy, cannot bear it because it is not naturally provided. A pigeon is also challenged for the knee (aka pada rajakapatosana). It also suffers when, in standing poses and steps, it regularly goes in front of the heel, that is. when it is not located just above the ankle. When the knee falls inside, then the ankle is also endangered. The wrist suffers due to current or constant overload, but also due to poor weight distribution and inadequate support.

The shoulder joint does not like “crazy pose” (camatkarasana). The sacroiliac joint is endangered in risky, biomechanically unjustified asanas where the relationship between the spine and pelvis is unnatural and harmful, but also with poor support and alignment of the pelvis in asanas that yoga practitioners regularly perform, e.g. in the triangle (trikonasana), stars, but also in asanas that are performed lying on your back. Long-term exercisers are more susceptible to his injuries, whose muscles and tendons are elastic and elongated so that the body “passes” them to the sacroiliac joint, whose mobility is otherwise minimal. The strong ligaments that connect the spine to the pelvis weaken, sag, and become inflamed and this important joint becomes sensitive.

Cumulative hip injury, unfortunately, is beginning to take its toll among longtime yogis. It accumulates over the years, the hip is slowly consumed, without our brain knowing anything about it, because there is no information about it – the human skeleton is not innervated. The bone doesn’t hurt. When hip pain occurs, it very often means that the degenerative process has already taken off. If the rope (hanumanasana) doesn’t work, don’t listen to your “monkey mind”. Listen to what your body is telling you clearly. With age, the body ages, and degenerative changes are inevitable. Yoga should certainly not promote them, but, on the contrary, make them easier and softer.

There is no competition with one’s own body. It is not an alienated part of us that we have to deal with and overcome. Let’s listen to the intelligence of our own body, because by listening to our body we really listen to nature, every day, at every moment. Our body is endowed with wisdom as old as life. Let’s listen to that only inviolable teacher first.

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