This was an unexpected post and now it has a second part. I began this some while ago, so if you want to read the first part you will need to refer back to 24/04/13…..
There is lots of good information and suggestions on the internet for anyone requiring inspiration for their yoga practice whilst dealing with an ongoing knee injury/issue. However, I needed to think deeply about how to proceed as it was simply impossible to stand at all for about a week and the following week I used a walking stick to move about. The joint was so painful and inflamed that weight-bearing was impossible, even lying down I used a small pillow to support the joint!
When the body is injured, even when you are unaware of the episode that caused the problem, it is felt deep within the body and is hugely traumatic to the whole system. Our bodies depend upon the healthy flow of energy (prana, chi, ki) in order for us to feel whole and able to function fully on every level. When a joint is compromised it causes something of a roadblock. The flow of blood, lymph and the more subtle energy flows become stuck, causing stagnation, scar tissue and then more trauma. I felt incredibly weary as do all people who have pain and as I was incapable of standing up other parts of my body became stiff and sore. To be honest I felt rather old and worn out!!
Anyway, I am not one to be daunted for too long and so came up with various postures that allowed me to find at least a sense of freedom from pain and my body slowly but surely opened and began to heal.
The postures shown above helped me tremendously. At no point was my knee used to take my body weight…instead they helped stretch and open the muscles in the legs. There were poses that provided mini inversions thereby encouraging the draining of lymph away from the joint and then gradually I added a very wide seated baddha konasana to begin the process of slowly bending the knee. Throughout, my practice I activated my feet as we do in Forrest Yoga and did lots of Forrest abdominals, keeping my back firmly down into the earth and my legs strong. This restored my back which felt fragile from having to sit a lot. I did these postures every day and was able to add in Downward Dog after a couple of weeks.
It was slow, slow and very careful, all the time honouring these amazing joints and sensing when to go further. Four weeks later I was able to return to my normal practice and last week I spent each day walking up and down mountains in Austria! Granted, my knee ached and definitely did not like the down-hill bits but every day I felt my legs getting stronger.
Needless to say all the above postures can be done regardless of knee injuries and are really beneficial if you feel your energy levels are low or you are recovering from any illness.
Many thanks to Harper Studios for allowing my daughter, Katie and I to use their lovely space to take pictures!