Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bad Knees equate to bad posture....

The clicking and pain in my knees while performing standing poses returned after the new year. My right knee is especially bad. Any sort of step climbing or squats makes my brain automatically go into protection mode and my leg avoids extreme pressure. The knee clicking got bad enough, that it was time to get a yoga therapy session for knees this Friday with Nuvana.

We did several modified poses. The whole idea was to relax the knee and there are several poses such dandasana, supta padangustasana, badha konasana and a half form of dhanurasana that Nuvana combines with traction using belts and ropes to achieve relaxation of the knee. The stretching of the calf muscles and the muscle at the back of your leg right behind the knee lets the knee reposition. She also observed my bad posture. I was putting more weight on the right leg and it was possible that my really bad knee was the left one, forcing me to use more of the right and overwork it. She based it on another interesting phenomena. After the first round of knee traction, my painful right knee felt better, but the left knee became tight. I was reminded of an earlier post on bad knees I wrote in August 2008.

A balanced standing posture is important in maintaining balance of work our body has to do including the knees. I am very aware of it, and ever since I started practicing yoga, I make efforts to maintain a balanced standing posture described in the Tadasana pose in Light on Yoga. But its easy to fall back to the old habits, so its important to observe yourself standing. I guess there is a life lesson in what I just wrote - "be observant of your bad habits and make ongoing efforts to correct them or avoid them!"

Back to the Friday session, by the end of the 90 minutes, I was climbing stairs with no pain in either knee. This is the magic of Nuvana's Iyengar yoga therapy. Its been three days, no pain in the knee, and I am very observant of maintaining a balanced posture while standing.

I have re-learnt another life lesson. To get to a balance sometimes requires gentle tugging. You may think you have the bull by the horns, but sometimes gentle tugging is required on both sides to tame a rowdy bull.


The Yogi

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