I am often asked if I can help people who are hypermobile. People tend to fall into one of two categories hypermobile or rigid. Those who are hypermobile are naturally flexible and can really do all kinds of movement. They are also extremely adaptable. Those who are more rigid tend to be stronger and stubborn. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both are prone to pain from bad habits and ill use of the body.
Hypermobility is amazing. You can do anything and that’s also the problem! Because you can do anything it's quite easy for you to adopt a harmful pattern of body use. And stick to it thinking it's right. There are very few limits in terms of how you can use yourself. So you end up doing as many bad things as good. Sitting cross legged will be easy for you. But the muscles can become strained well beyond what the eye can see and to a large extent what you can feel. You can be making much more effort than you really need to. It eludes you because you can get away with it to some extent. Plus you can’t feel the harm you do to yourself.
Rigidity is at the other end of the spectrum and while it lacks flexibility it gains strength from having the muscles gathered all the time. Gathering your muscles together to work as one unit is a great way to do all kinds of things. However, those of us who are rigid will suffer from not being able to tell when we need to stop gathering the muscles.
Those who are rigid are very much aware of the limits of what their body can do. But these limits are very helpful and stop you from going too far wrong in terms of where things go. We need to be able to make tension as well as prevent it. Rigidity suffers from having no idea that this choice can be made. Persistent tightness and fatigue and pain will affect those who are more on the rigid side of the spectrum.
So although these two predispositions are quite different in experience what they have in common is the inability to know where it’s limits are and when they need to stop.