Your legs are weak (yes, even you, the professional)
A rash statement I know, but after having worked with many injured people including yogis and yoginis with more than 20 years of experience, I found out that most peoples’ legs are weak. This is because many, including those who’ve had “yoga training”, make the mistake of making yoga mainly a stretching activity. They forget all about the aspect of strength.
Yoga practice has much more to offer than just stretching or relaxation. Many assume it’s only for the people with strong muscles and lots of energy. This could not be further from the truth. In fact, people who’ve gone through injuries should be more inclined to take up yoga practice.
The Goddess Pose is one such pose that can help with knee and hip injuries.
Dynamic Goddess Pose = Sumo Squats = Plié
Let’s take a look.
The static Goddess Pose namely Utkata Konasana in Sanskrit is also called Goddess squat. To get into the pose, stand with your legs wide apart with feet open at least 45 degrees out to the sides, squatting down to the level where your thighs are parallel to the ground. Arms are open into a T-position with elbows bent half way turning palms forward.
The dynamic variation of this pose beats other movements and poses all together because of its effectiveness for helping with the knee and hip injuries.
Injured joints don’t like stretching.
Injured joints enjoy movement.
When you first begin doing these exercises, your movement needs to be done with minimal amplitude. Unlike muscles and bones, joints don’t have direct blood supply, they have synovial liquid around them that works similar to blood by brining nutrients to the joint. The only problem is that it works only during the time when the joint is moving.
Hence, movement = good.
Stillness = bad (no matter how tired you may be).
Let’s do the dynamic variation of this pose now. Again, this is best for people with either injured knees or hips (or even both). Of course, healthy people will benefit too.
We’ve created a short video for you to follow along, and included the Dos and Don’ts of the pose.
You’ll find an explanation of the pose under the video.
Opening legs wide apart and turning feet out as much as it works for you, start slowly lowering your pelvis down with the exhalation. Don’t go lower than the thighs and pelvis parallel to the ground. Watch your heels; make sure they are either in line with your knees or wider. With the next inhalation, lift up, but don’t straighten your knees. Repeat at least 20-25 times. Hands should be wherever it is comfortable for you.
When you finish, place your hands on the top of your thighs, lower your torso down to have it parallel to the ground, and turn your feet forward and parallel to each other. Move your weight from side to side, and then slowly lower your hands down and walk into downward dog pose.
This shouldn’t be painful for those with knee and/or hip injuries, but if it is, you are going down too far. Keep it at your comfort level and everything will go smoothly.
If you need further help, please call (416) 277-5432 to see if you qualify for an assessment.