When I was 19 and a student at UCLA, I had to walk very far to each class, sometimes getting there later than the 10 minute break between classes. After a few months, I felt pain in my knees. I went to the doctor, who told me simply,
“You need to exercise your legs more.”
That advice, while not very specific or helpful, provoked in me a quest to know more about my knees and what I could do for my legs to feel better and stronger. I began studying and practicing yoga from a book that didn’t even call it yoga. It didn’t matter. By applying the poses, I was able to strengthen and develop flexibility in my legs. Knee problem solved.
Later in life, I started to go to an acupuncturist and learn a little about Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). I learned that knee pain represents “yang deficiency cold stagnation.” What exactly is that? Well, I can’t explain TCM, but I can feel the effects of that condition as pain, stiffness and impaired function in the knee joint, worse with cold, and alleviated by warmth.
Then back in yoga, I discovered that knee pain is associated with the First Chakra, the Root Chakra. Physical imbalances in the root chakra include problems in the legs (including the knees), feet, rectum, tailbone, immune system, male reproductive parts and prostrate gland. So addressing the root Chakra with specific poses, breath and meditation also helped my knees.
More recently I learned that our mental state has an impact physically. Emotions, such as stress, anxiety and depression can have a negative effect on your joint health.
According to the Arthritis Foundation, people who tend to be depressed or anxious are more susceptible to pain. So addressing mental and emotional health is crucial for feeling good in your own skin.
And then there’s sound codes. Since I was 14, when I first discovered the benefits of chanting, I have been doing some form of it, through all the various practices of different religions around the world. I have yet to try all of them, but I can say safely that certain languages have words that not only point to a meaning, but actually transform your vibrational reality. I’ve chanted in Sanskrit, including Gurumuki, Hebrew and Arabic. Sometimes, I have felt pain go away just from chanting. Because I’m feeling connected to a Greater Source.
More recently, a couple friends are challenged by knee problems and wanted my help with this hinge joint we expect to work like a shoulder joint.
So I now put all of this together in a Sufi-Yoga class for the knees. Can it heal your knees? Maybe if you practiced consistently. Can it help you feel better in class? Yes, it can. That I’m confident about for you. Our next class:
Sufi Yoga Online Class
October 9, 2023
5 PM to 6:30 PM PST