You don’t have to go it alone

Xray of a knee, not mine
This is not an xray of my knee, but it will serve to illustrate my plight.

My previous entry about my nagging knee injury brought two comforting comments: Mary suggested that I see a sports specialist/orthopedist, and Melissa mentioned that a yoga therapist might help and pointed me in the direction of Doug Keller. Keller is based here in the DC area, but spends a lot of time traveling to yoga workshops and teacher training around the United States and the world so he is not immediately available. His site does contain an archive of about dozen articles that he wrote for Yoga+ magazine, and one did deal with knee issues. I have downloaded several to apply them to my multiple aches and pains.

The helpful responses reminded me that the yogic path should not be isolated, that we can reach out to others for advice, support and commiseration. That’s why we have yoga studios where like-minded practitioners can share their experiences. The Internet itself opens up the whole world, both for giving and receiving. Sometimes, injuries and other obstacles get me all wrapped up in the tangles that my mind gets trapped in.

I think my concern was three-fold: first, my yoga-empowered changes have been altering the way that my body parts are moving and changing at different speeds due to variable flexibility, strength and awareness. Second, the injuries themselves can engender changes in the body, compensations for a gimpy knee that may jeopardize my gains of the past four years. Or at least, that’s what my neurotic mind was telling me, which just amplified the repercussions of the injury. Third, my ego was telling me that a good yogi would not be hurt himself so I must be failing in my practice in some respect.

Alternatively, I could also take this incident as an opportunity to learn more about how my body works, how it heals, and how it changes in the face of handicaps and stimuli. Greet it as a kind of anti-vinyasa that I have to recognize, accept, deal with, learn from and then assimilate into my yogic path.

I should note that Melissa Garvey and is based here in Washington, DC where she freelances as a writer and editor, and has her own website and YogaPulse blog [MLS: now Melissa blogs at  Write on Yoga]. Following a link from her blog, I found a fascinating, even-handed article in June 2007 issue of Self, Bad Karma, about the risks of injury in yoga practice. Mary is “anonymous.”