Monday, September 26, 2011

The Ego Resides in the Knees

"Don’t fuck with the knees." - Bikram

As I work the yoga class circuit again, I’m coming to terms with my knee issue. Aware that I can’t do certain poses anymore, I have been modifying those that are causing havoc. I’ve also been warning teachers that I will be modifying and hanging in the back of the class so as not to throw off the other students with my mods (though I can’t explain why the majority of the people in some classes seem to also be hanging out in the back of the class…)

With that said, here are the current modifications I am doing (left knee is the one that has the pain):

Pose: Upward facing dog ~ Mod: Cobra

Pose: Warrior I ~ Mod: Warrior I with left leg not bent or on right knee with left knee bent (opposite side normal Warrior 1

Pose: Warrior II ~ Mod: Straight leg on left side, right side normal Warrior II

Pose: Eagle ~ Mod: Done straight legged

Pose: Feet on hands: Mod: Simple forward bend with arms crossed

Pose: Hero pose ~ Mod: Done with block and blanket

Pose: Camel ~ Mod: Standing camel (if there is such a thing)

Pose: Head stand ~ Mod: Perhaps Dolphin

Pose: Shoulder stand/plow ~ Mod: Legs up with sternum on block

Pose: Wheel ~ Mod: Supported bridge (ahhhh, the best pose next to savasana)

Also am switching legs if any one leg standing pose goes on too long

One of more interesting things that I’ve been running into is the reintroduction of some of the intermediate poses that I have forgotten about and simply can’t do anymore due to the not having done them for so long (, i.e. side angle crow, peacock, firefly). I must admit that I have been a little put out by this and have to catch myself because none of this stuff really matters anyway in yoga (yoga is really about nailing the ego and not nailing that advanced asana, right?), but the ego is a funny thing...

I’m currently working with a new teacher who is giving me some good tips and suggestions on knee pain. She recently sent me a link to a couple of articles that I wanted to pass on. These are pretty good and well worth the read.

Yoga Shouldn't Hurt -- Yoga Journal (Oct 2011)

Ground Control -- Yoga Journal (Oct 2011)

See you in class, dawgs…