“Yoga is dangerous for EDS.”
“I was told not to do yoga.”
“Yoga will make you end up in a wheelchair.”
I’m sure these are all phrases that you’ve heard before, many people with EDS feel that they are absolute truths. But the fact is that there is not black and white factual statement that has come out about doing yoga when you have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. These ideas could come from anywhere: personal beliefs, someone we trust, or our own experience with yoga. We are all different and what works for someone else may not work for you and vice versa.
This also applies to the practice of yoga!
There are countless people with hypermobility/EDS who have been practicing yoga for years and have done well (I am one of them!). There are also those who tried it and were not strong or self-aware enough to know how to protect their hypermobile joints when practicing yoga. In their defense, extreme hypermobility used to be glorified, not just in yoga, but dance, gymnastics, and other sports where being able to contort your body in extreme ways was viewed as valuable and helped give you an edge over others who couldn’t do the same.
But, if you take that same person who is not aware of how to protect their hypermobile joints when practicing yoga and pair that with an instructor who may not be aware of the damage that can be done when pushed to those extreme positions, you can see why many EDSers were told not to do yoga.
Many perceive yoga as a form of exercise where you’re meant to push the poses to the extreme. However, its quite the opposite! Yoga with EDS is really all about control. Push yourself to hold a pose before letting yourself relax into it. This can help you strengthen your joints and reduce pain caused by EDS.
Yoga can be an amazing way to learn how not to hyperextend and gain strength and stability. Yoga is also incredible for learning how to incorporate movement and mindfulness as a way to manage chronic pain.
It’s nearly impossible to cover all that goes into the practice of yoga with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in one post. If you’d like to learn more, we would love to talk with you over a free phone consultation. Just fill out this form.
The most important point to remember is to do what feels best for your body. You are the best advocate for your health.