A beginner’s body

I have made headway in getting back into the swing of my yoga practice. My acupuncturist says that I am ahead of the curve. He’s seen several people, 40 years or older, who had have had knee surgery, and in my case, my knee has full range of movement, and I no longer have serious swelling or other side effects. With one month of yoga practice under my belt, I can see I am recovering. I know of two people at my office who’ve had knee surgery in the last six months, and one has already blown out his knee again because he went back to running too soon.

Photo of knee support and rolled hand towels
Knee support and rolled hand towels that are placed behind the knees when in child’s pose.

At Thrive Yoga this past weekend, I took a vinyasa 2/3 class with Susan Bowen and managed to get through it. The following day, I took a hatha yoga class with Marylou McNamara. It’s a nice combination: the advance class tests my limits physically while the hatha class keeps me grounded in the basics of alignment and breathing, and allows me to recover from the hard work with Susan.

I keep some props with me on the mat: a knee support and two rolled-up terry cloth hand towels that I put behind both knees to create some “space” in my joint whenever i am in a stressful pose, like child’s pose. The knee support is more to remind me tactilely that I should keep my awareness on my knee, rather than to brace my knee. When I fold my knee, there’s always a double-ply of Neoprene between my thigh and calf, offering a minimum of protection. The support also keeps my rolled-up hand towel from slipping out due to lubricating sweat. It keeps my knee warm, too.