Yoga is having bad reputation for knees.
Almost everyone encountered pain in knees and specially in Ashtanga where knees are solicited during Marichyasana D.
Marichyasana D is the Saint Graäl for all ashtangis, sometimes we are pushed into it but most of the time we are pushing ourselves.
In 1988 I had a left knee surgery during which both of meniscus has been removed. Since then my left side became my worst side to practice with.
Each time I am hurting myself, it all comes from the left side. Wether it is dislocation, tore ligaments, neck pain and so on, everything from the left side. My left side is stiffer than my right.
Therefore I am in constant search of the “perfect” movement in order to avoid any compensation. Easier to say, harder to apply during the daily practice.
Lately after the practice I start to apply ice cube directly to the arch of my foot. I love icing, cold shower, cold bath became highly necessary to my daily routine.
By applying the ice cube and start rubbing my foot with it, I started feeling pain directly on my knees. As I was noticing as well during my practice that my knees became slightly stiff during all padmasana, I then realised that it might be connected.
I then took a deep look at my foot.
When I was a kid I had flat feet (flexible flat feet, not rigid). I was having special shoes in order to correct it. The yoga practice drastically change my posture, one day a teacher taught me how to create an artificial arch by contracting my toes during all balancing pose.
Slowly but surely the aspect of my foot start changing, as well the reorganisation of bones structures started improving.
While I am now practicing the secondary series (not all of it), I noticed that I was becoming lazy for some elementary pose such as Adho Mukha Svanasana. My feet were sagging….. I then start rotating the femur bones on the outside to put more weight toward 4th and 5th big toes.
At the beginning a huge cramp came directly behind calves muscles, as I was continuing to do so, it all disappeared. Then slowly I gained more flexibility in my feet and pain in the knees moved away.
The ice cub reminded me how much connected feet were with knees. Opening hips help to increase as well knees flexibility but it was useless since I was not working properly from my base. I was opening one part and closing it at the same time.
Once again I had to rethink my practice. It is a long process which is slowing down my practices.
But highly beneficial.
Have you ever tried icing your feet ?
Wishing you a beautiful practice,