Knees, Hips, Feet workshop 16 March 2008 notes
Connecting the foot to the hip will in time and through correct practice bypass weight bearing onto the knee joint, bring more freedom of movement into the hip and give greater rebound upwards energy and lightness throughout the entire body. There is no quick fix, but there is yoga practice, which is not only rewarding and enjoyable on many levels, but I know from personal experience can strengthen and heal our knees once our hips are moving well and our feet become very much a part of the overall movement of the body!
Feet act like a pointer showing the rotation of the shin and lower leg. Kneecaps show the rotation of the femur.
Feet are our foundations
"The feet reflect the body and all its interal organs. Through our feet we can be in touch with both our physical and metaphysical being" (Debbie Shapiro)
Do not push the knee back! Knees are represented by the ego. Resistance to change, stubbornness to yield, too much privde are all a burden to suffering knees.
"The pelvis represents relationship" (Debbie Shapiro)
The pelvis is the centre of movement within us. Fear and conflict with loved ones and family and our own security can effect free movement of the hips.
A bent knee must work as a hinge does with no sideways movement. If it points inwards as is often the case until our hips become more flexible, the upper and lower leg don't meet evenly but are bent to the side at the joint which widens the gap between the bones at the inner knee straining ligaments there. The outer knee is then compressed and as a result the knee joint surface is abraded causing common knee ailments often referred to as Chondromalacia Patellae, and contributes to arthritis.
Partner assessment, alignment, flexibility of hips.
Knee health sequence:
- pressing very gently down on a sort roll, to engage the medial more delicate muscle of the inner knee that takes longer to strengthen and can be weakened by the strengthening of the surrounding muscles
- acupoint stomach #36 relieves knees that lock especially behind the knee and gives general health to the flow of synovium fluid in the knee capsule
- rotating of the inner and outer knee equally to promote even healthy energy flow (preparation for Vamadavasana)
Awakening the feet, self massage
- Maha Virasana, foot and hip connection
- Jivabalasana, like utkatasana but arms out in front of shoulders and back straight. Breathe deep into belly
- Squat on wall and skateboard principle
Help the Hip and knee postures
- Yin hip release- investigating the foot/hip connection
- Padangusthasana or Ekapada & Parsva Sirsasana for intermediate students
Be specially aware postures
- Virabhadrasana 2, Parsvottanasana, Trikonasana
- Ardha Chandrasana
- Virasana & Supta Virasana
- Chin Mudra - for all below the waist
Foods that support the kidney Yang are strengthening for the lower limbs. Whole foods that warm and enkindle the spirit:
- all the onion family especially garlic, leeks, chives
- black beans
- ginger (especially dried)
- cinnamon bark
- oily (sustainable) fish
And mainly a healthy attitude and love towards yourself!
Love Jacqui X