Anatomically, joints are structures in the body where two bones meet. There are 3 basic classifications for joints based on how they move. Fibrous joints are tightly held together with connective tissue and do not move. Examples of fibrous joints are the sutures of the skull and where teeth are secured against the jaw. The second category of joints are the cartilaginous joints. These are slightly movable but have their limits. As the name implies, cartilage is the main tissue present to provide cushion and support to the bones while permitting some movement. Examples include the joints between spinal vertebra. The last category of joint is the synovial joints which truly reap the benefits of yoga.
Synovial joints are unique from the other types as they use fluid to cushion the friction that would damage the bones they protect. This is what allows free movement and full range of movement. Examples of synovial joints include the knees, shoulders, ankles, and wrists. Our joints allow our muscles and bones to move with a gliding motion. Without healthy joints, our bones would grate together causing inflammation (such as arthritis) and pain.
Kundalini yoga provides wonderful kriyas to support and prevent joint issues. This is because movement allows the synovial fluid and nutrients to move around in the joint cavity. Cartilage tissue not does have blood vessels to supply nutrients to itself. So the articular cartilage found in synovial joints are nourished by the synovial fluid. By really moving each joint in its full range of motion on a regular basis, the fluid is moved and circulated to remove waste materials and introduce nutrition components such as omega fatty acids to rejuvenate the tissue. With that said, never push an irritated joint into pain or stretch it to its limits. It’s the habitual regularity of gentle, easy motion that refreshes the synovial fluid with nutrition. Circulation, oxygenation, and nutrition are key to joint health and are promoted by yoga’s emphasis on breath work, kriya movement, and mindful eating.
----About the Author, Amanda Sobreyra RN BSN:
Yoga first became part of my life in 2014 when I pursued the wisdom in Ashtanga yoga. For self mastery, tending to the body is just as vital as tending to the matters of the heart and mind. I knew if I wanted to change the world around me, first I had to change myself. Yoga is a framework that allows people to experience themselves differently. I started with Kundalini Yoga in 2019 and am so privileged to be a part of the community.
I became a seeker of knowledge and self mastery as a youngster. I always sought truth by experiencing it directly. Mythologies from across the world provide me another framework lens to see into human psychology, culture, and core values that lend to destiny. I remain open to different frameworks, perspectives, ideas, and practices which support the relationship with the highest version of self