July 01, 2009

My Left Knee

I've been among the walking wounded the last week or so. I think I pulled or strained a muscle (gastrocnemius or soleus) in my left lower leg (inside calf muscle). A lot of walking / biking / hiking proceeding the strain. So I've been taking it easy. But I think working around the strain has also pulled my left knee out of alignment - I've had some torn cartiledge in the knee since my mid 20's that has never been acute enough to treat (surgery....no thanks) and it's all pretty benign as long as I do not stress the knee (no running), and the rest of the leg remains healthy so as to keep the knee in alignment. But I think this calf strain has upset the balance in the knee, so the knee has been cranky as well.

I noticed this big time doing a Supine abductor stretch with strap, although I'm also kind of cranky with forward folds and abs with straight legs. So I've been nursing my left leg through my practice and teaching - taking it easy.

It's actually been a really interesting anatomy / asana lesson working with this. Each posture becomes a mental checklist "not tight in my calf" or "tight in my calf" or "tight in my inner calf (ouch!)" or "tight in my outer calf (cool)" - I'm noticing that tightness (and the need to modify) in some unexpected postures. I commented to Brab tonight "if there were a way to simulate this sort of restriction in various muscles, one could really learn about postures". Now that I think about it, I think maybe Tias Little did something like that in his teacher training (maybe using a strap to restrict movement).....will have to review the material and my notes.

Practicing tonight - I cranked into a deep (for me) Hanumanasana (full splits) and Nykki kind of watched with that scared "should you really be doing that with your leg?" face - but it was fine (right leg forward) - on the other side I did a little Janu Sirsasana stretch instead.

Things are healing up, a little stronger and less pain each day, and I continue to practice consciously. A little roadbump, and an educational one at that.

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