Yoga and Hyper-Mobility: Can You be TOO FLEXIBLE?

Yoga and Hyper-Mobility: Can You be TOO FLEXIBLE?

Yoga and Hyper-Mobility: Can You be TOO FLEXIBLE?


is a therapeutic specialty of mine. 

i can see excessive flexibility right away, and teach my clients to reverse it, stabilize their bodies, and get out of pain. My clinical expertise is professional and intimately personal as well.                                                                                                                                                 i’m dangerously hyper-mobile myself!  i’ve lived extremes of pain and disability from Hyper-Mobile Joint dysfunction for 35 years.

For many, such as myself,  flexibility is not a blessing, but a curse.                                                                                                                               There is nothing holding our bones together but consciousness. 

Neurology defines Hyper-Mobility Syndrome (HMS), Joint Hyper-Mobility Syndrome (JHS), and Ehlers-Danlos (ED) as genetic collagen disorders that disrupt the nervous system and impact neuromuscular control. 

They note varying levels of severity, and say there is no cure. HYPER-MOBILE people are born with defective collagen and ligaments. This genetic structural disorder leads to chronic dislocations. We hyper-mobiles were born without internal glue.

The body’s collagen matrix is dysfunctionally weak  with each these disorders, and does not support bone structure and movement, so joints easily slip out of place. Meanwhile muscles and nerves constantly strain to stack and stabilize all the loose parts.

Hyper-mobility causes constant injury, pain, strain, and loss of function. 

It’s a dis-ease. 

Hyper-mobile people have to learn how to hold back, or they pay.                        Structural Yoga is how i’ve survived, and it’s the most directly accessible self-care, neuromuscular re-education, and first-aid.

About half of my student base over the years had some degree of unrecognized hyper-mobility. Most were women, and they were basically functional, except for the frequent episodes of pain their unstable bodies caused. More women suffer from hyper-mobility than men. Maybe it’s constitutional, or maybe because women focus more on flexibility than men, they naturally “embody” it.

We shape our own body structure by how we use it.

The struggle to hold our joints in place without ligamentous support is a lifelong full-time job. Hyper-mobile bodies “have no brakes”. Without guidance and retraining, we feel no limits to any stretch, and we lack a sense of how far we have actually gone. Hyper-mobiles get hurt a lot, and often live with chronic pain. While others admire and aspire towards our flexibility,  hyper-mobility is not healthy.  It’s pathological, and causes many common symptoms besides constant strain, pain, and fatigue. Hyper-mobiles get hurt a lot, and often live with chronic pain. Hyper-mobility is exhausting to manage, and leads to chronic fatigue and collapse. Our bodies lack the structural stability that  “normal bodies” have. Some people remain highly functional as athletes, while others are wheelchair-bound, and the rest of us are somewhere in between.

Because structural collapse is an ever present, real and constant threat, the hyper-mobile’s nervous system gets locked in sustained fight-or-flight (sympathetic nervous system overdrive). For support, the compensatory muscles spasm, fueling our cycles of pain, stress, anxiety, panic, and low-grade PTSD. 

HMS, JHS, and ED bring a host of other Autonomic Nervous System imbalances too, such as headaches, cold hands and feet, heart palpitations, digestive disorders, dizziness and lightheadedness, and even dyslexia and confusion with numbers and sequences. Fibromyalgia, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue are often present at the same time.

Recognizing hyper-mobility requires awareness, and managing it takes patience, both learned meditative skills. In my decades of teaching, i’ve helped countless hyper-mobile clients reset their bodies and the way they practice Yoga and live their lives. i’ve mentored yoga teachers safely through their trainings. All my clients learn enough experiential anatomy to stabilize their joints, continue their practice, and live without constant strain and fear of pain.

This is the evolutionary power of Yoga.

Bodywork and Yoga pair perfectly together, because client progress soars when learning is somatic, or body-based. Self-empowerment is transformational. Subtle awareness is essential life support for hyper-mobiles. Precise micro- alignment in every moment is the Olympian life task of those with HMS, JHS, and ED.

To heal or change anything, we must be ready to live in a more mindful, meditative way. Pain definitely slows us down, and points to the path of reflection. Yoga then asks that we remain there, fully engaged and awake.

There is real hope, once we understand what’s going on with Hyper-Mobility Syndromes, and what makes our condition worse. Anyone can learn this. The re-education process – of sensing our bodies in space (proprioceptive awareness), then holding back to regain control – takes attention, practice, and proper coaching. Re-alignment stretches our minds to who we really are, and breathes the life back into our hearts, hopes and dreams.

i look forward to moving back to the Bay Area in summer 2017, to once again offer Breakthrough Bodywork Therapies and trainings for clients with hyper-mobility issues, neurological conditions, and chronic pain. Please email me to receive updates and invitations to explore this work. Once our website reconstruction is complete, you’ll have access to newsletters and updates there. May your journey of self-awareness flourish!


Yolanda Pritam Hari


Quantum Evolutionary Healing (SM)