My intention with yoga is to do some yoga movement every single day. Of course, reality and intention don’t always work well together. Which is just another way of saying that I can rationalize just about anything if I want to. This week is a prime example.
I made it to yoga on Monday, to the more intense Therapeutic Astanga Method Yoga (TAM) that I talked about last week. In that class I have to remind myself to do only what I can do. I have no idea how long the others in that class have been doing yoga. Longer than me, for certain. Some, I know, are yoga teachers themselves. Nydia was helpful in showing me the how to modify the movements for my level.
Did I mention that this class is heated? I could definitely feel that, too. Near the end of class, when Nydia turned off the heat, she told use that the temperature had gotten to 85 degrees!
Could Your Posture be Hurting You?
Any class that I have joined and stayed in for very long – yoga, aerobics, Jazzercise, Pilates – has been one that stressed doing movements properly. I’m sure that most classes do, but not all as I’ve been in some that did not. It’s important because if you do movements wrong, you can hurt yourself. In yoga, I have learned that I have been standing wrong for a good portion of my life. Perhaps you have too?
When I stand for long periods of time, I tend to shift my weight to one leg and then lock the knee, also known as hyper-extending the knee. Since I started yoga I have learned that this is a bad idea. Here’s why: You’re not using muscles to stand. Instead you’re relying on the skeletal structure to hold you up. This puts extra stress on your knees and results in joint compression. Over time, this can result in damage to the cartilage – osteoarthritis. In class, we are always reminded to have just a very slight bend at the knees. This reduces the joint compression and forces you to use the muscles of the leg.
Knowing that I have serious arthritis issues in both knees confirms everything I hear in yoga class. In fact, I recall no too long ago when I was standing with most of my weight on one leg. When I needed to shift the weight, my knee hurt when I first bent it. Should be listening to my body, right?
The same is also true when you’re using your arms to support your body. If you’re arms are super-straight, you are not building muscle and are just putting extra pressure on your joints. Yikes! So be careful when you see that meme running around Facebook about 30 days of planks!