Pop Goes the Sternum?

In the last week or so, I've noticed a lot of changes in my flexibility.  It's happening all around.  All of a sudden, I'm more flexible.

Now, I've always been pretty flexible.  I was born that way - especially in the legs and lower back.  Recently, though, everything is sort of opening up.  It's pretty cool.

My least flexible place has always been my upper spine.  Not so bendy.  I think due mostly to a minor curviture of the spine there.  Instead of a lovely straight column, I have a bit of a C-curve in my upper back.  It doesn't bother me, or hurt or really affect any aspect of my life, except for backbackbends. 

A few days ago, I started into my first backbend and I could push up through my sternum higher than ever before and get a better arc in my upper back.  Cool. 

Two days ago, I went into the standing backbend and there was a pop in my sternum.  Like a knuckle, but instead of a knuckle in the front of my chest.  Kind of gross, really.  It didn't hurt or anything, but it was kind of a weird sensation.  Then it happened again in standing bow.  Then again in camel. 

For two days now, whether in the yoga room or out, my sternum has been popping when I arch my back.  It has me only slighlty concerned.  I know there are joints in the sternum.  The thing is, are they supposed to move enough to pop? 

When I asked my teacher after the first time it happened she said that it was probably just my chest opening in new ways and that I was developing new flexibility in my sternum.  I'm sure she's probably right, but I'd like a second opinion.  So if anyone else has experienced this before, please pipe in and let me know if you've needed chest-replacement surgery or if it finally stops cracking, or if it keeps cracking forever, but your chest never actually splits open.  Thanks a mil.


catherine said...

I think that started happening about two years into my Bikram practice, then has come and gone since (three years later). And nope, I haven't needed chest-replacement surgery.


(Love your writing!)

hannahjustbreathe said...

I've written about this before. Meaning, I have *definitely* had that chest-popping-open sensation. And heard it, too. Doesn't happen every day or even every month. Happens very sporadically, actually. My point in all this rambling is that I think you're fine. :)

Dorothy said...

Catherine - Thanks for reading! And for allaying my surgical fears. ^__^

HJB - Now that I know that at least two other people experiece this with some regularity, I will be able to stop imagining that the bones are going to separate forever.

I actually had a couple of dreams that I had to get an appliance to cover the hole that opened. Although perhaps that's more telling than I first thought... I also had a dream about other fused joints opening. Specifically the cranial joints. Ew. And with that delightful image, I will end. Sorry.

catherine said...

I practiced a while after reading this. I got a lower pop, right in the middle of my chest. That wacky cartilage has quite the sense of humor.

bikramyogachick said...

Oooh. Sternum cracking. I must confess, that would freak me out a bit too. So far I've only had to deal with my lower back cracking, popping and releasing. I'm not as flexible that way (my forehead is never going to touch the freakin' floor!). I guess the sternum is the next level and something to "look forward to". Thanks for sharing!
p.s~ I think I'm going to try Don's power flow class this weekend. I've heard it's amazing. I'm sure I'll be sitting there on my bum half the class, unable to keep up, but you've got to start somewhere, right?

Dorothy said...

Catherine - the power of suggestion?

BYC - You should totally take Don's class. It's really fun and Dominique is often there so there's the double shot of fun.

LiLu said...

I have absolutely no idea. As a runner, not a yoga person, everything pops though. I just assume it's supposed to...