Knee Function In And Beyond Your Yoga Practice
While the benefits of yoga have been widely documented for years, it is important not to overlook the all too real possibility of acquiring an injury with the excessive and incorrect bending, twisting and contorting of the body.
It is simply not enough to know the yoga for beginners dos and don’ts. If you are keen on reaping the rewards of your yoga practice, you should also learn to respect the limitations of your body. One cannot stress enough the fact that flexibility, strength and balance is not achieved over night.
Among the mostly commonly injured part of the body in yoga practice and any physical activity for that matter are the knees. This is the part of the body that is recognized as the ‘power and propulsion’ joint. Since it is the main receiving end of any force of movement, it deals with constant abuse.
All too often, we take for granted our knees as we dance, move, run, stand and walk our way through day to day activities. However, a slight injury to the knee can result to significant lack of mobility and range of motion.
Understanding The Role Of The Knees In Yoga Practice
In yoga, we look beyond the physical function of the knees. The knees are our shock absorbers. It is connected with ego, pride as well as humility. Beyond its physical function, the knees carries the weight of the body and moves us through the ups and downs of life. This means, whether you are carrying a physical or emotional burden, your knees will show strain.
With this in mind, it is important that we learn to embrace humility and renounce ego as ego can turn us into inflexible, proud, stubborn and self-righteous individuals. Your physical and mental resistance to accept this fact reflects on your knees’ function. Choosing to remain inflexible can result to your knees locking up, dislocating or causing you to lose ground both on and off the mat.
Mindful Yoga Practice
If you have read my article on enlightened yoga practice, you have better understanding on why awareness is important in yoga practice and even in life. As you approach your yoga mat today, try to be more mindful of your knees and observe the following guidelines:
- Take a solid stance by standing with your knees hip width apart.
- Balance is important in yoga practice. Focus on creating a stable foundation with your knees. Keep in mind that to achieve this, your body position or angle may be slightly different from your neighbours.
- Make sure to angle your quadriceps to form a vertical line from hips to knees and not angling inward.
- It is important to remember that yoga practice was initially designed for male, who have wider shoulders and narrower hips. With this in mind, you should not hesitate to make necessary adjustments so as not to risk injury.
- Keep knee over ankle when bending to distribute the load of your body weight.
- The wide your base, the more stability you will achieve. If you are a beginner, you should adjust and widen your stance accordingly. Over time, you can gradually lessen the width of your stance.
Yoga is truly a rewarding exercise, but despite its seemingly gentle nature, it can also lead to injury if you lack the knowledge, preparation and guidance to practice it correctly.