The Link Between Yoga, DNS, and Early Childhood Development


According to the Prague School of Rehabilitation, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS) is based on the principle that, “The nervous system establishes programs that control human posture, movement, and gait”. These “programs,” or blueprints, are established in the first critical years of life, and through the rehabilitation protocols established in DNS, movement control centers in the brain can be activated to restore dysfunction of the locomotor system and associated syndromes that arise later in life.

The Underlying Premise of DNS

In order for their bones and joints to develop properly, children must follow set developmental milestone within that program. When this “program” is applied to an adult, proper stability is restored, joints centrate, and muscles work synergistically around the joints. Why? Because they were already developed during childhood.

DNS emphasizes the stabilizing system of the spine which involves muscles such as the multifidi, the deep neck flexors, the diaphragm, the abdominal wall, and the pelvic floor. Using the stabilizing system in a functional way is required for safe purposeful movement of the head and the extremities, and is important in static loading of the spine while sitting or standing. The therapeutic aspect of DNS is the foundation of healthy movement, which includes centration of joints, axial extension of the spine, and activation of intra-abdominal pressure, all of which provide stability to the body and its segments.

The Practice of Yoga

Yoga is an ages-old practice that unites the mind and body by coupling physical activity with mental focus, through breathing and meditation. There are three principles that are very important to yoga and its practice:

  • Asanas are the physical movements and postures of classical yoga practice used to increase flexibility, strength, stability and balance.
  • Pranayama is the conscious control and awareness of breath. This control allows for optimal respiratory function in the upper, middle, and lower chest. Proper breath and control of the diaphragm allows the spine to elongate without effort.
  • Meditation naturally follows the conscious control and awareness of the breath.

Similarities in Yoga and DNS

Yoga and DNS both evolved from observing children in their natural habitat. Using the inherent movement patterns developed in children, the body can be studied as a complete functional unit in adulthood. The first similarity between yoga and DNS is the actual positioning of the human body when practicing either technique. In DNS, the positioning of the body is based on the developmental patterns of an infant. For example, a common position used in DNS rehabilitation is called Tripod, achieved between 9 and11 months. Tripod is a transitional position that helps the child change from a turning pattern to a crawling pattern. The body is positioned in tripod as a form of DNS treatment, while positioning in Yoga is in the form of asanas. The asana Utthita Parsvaskonasana is very similar to tripod.

Another important similarity between DNS and Yoga is their emphasis on joint centration, where a joint is in an optimal position with symmetric co-activation of the surrounding muscles. Both DNS and Yoga use active movements by the practitioner and passive movements by the patient to ensure the joint in focus is in a centrated position. A centrated joint has the most interosseous contact for optimal load transfer through the joint. Joint centration allows for balanced muscle activity as well as a more economical and efficient use of the extremity.

DNS and Yoga in Rehab

The applications of DNS and Yoga in rehabilitation provide an effective way for understanding the body as a functional unit. Rather than treating symptomatically, DNS and its application to Yoga practices gets to the root cause of a patient’s dysfunction, rather than the patient’s current pain. What milestones were missed in early childhood and what are the resulting compensatory motor patterns? Not just where do you hurt, but how and why do you hurt? Rather than focusing on treating pain symptoms, DNS gets to the root to eliminate them for life.

Restorative DNS Treatment in NYC

Many people accept changes in balance, stability and overall physical function as natural effects of the aging process. However, changes in joint alignment and motor patterns often occur from everyday postural habits and repetitive motions that interfere with functional movement and stability.

Dr. Lev Kalika had the privilege of studying under Prof. Pavel Kolar, developer of Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS), a method of treating musculoskeletal disorders using innate developmental motor patterns. Under Dr. Kolar’s tutelage, Dr. Kalika became a master of DNS and was certified in Prague, brining the innovative treatment method with him to practice in the United States.

If you struggle with balance or find everyday movement to be increasingly challenging, DNS may be a solution to restoring stability and safe functional movement. Contact NYDNR today to schedule a biomechanical analysis, and get moving again to get the most out of life.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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