Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Happy Knee Year!

Most of us take our knees for granted and don't give a second thought to how we treat them.  When we're young, our knees quietly bear the burden of our weight and carry us through our rough and tumble activities.  Knees can take a lot of punishment particularly while playing sports.  As we age, we may experience knee pain, arthritis or other knee problems that result from injuries earlier in our life.  

Here are some tips to help you have a Happy Knee Year:
·       Always warm-up your knees before practice. While in bent knee, circle your knees in four directions (side, forward, side, back).  When circling them back, give them a gentle stretch back.  Circle as low as you are comfortable. 
·      When shifting your weight back and forth in a bow stance, be sure your knees stay centered over the corresponding feet.
·      When performing Grasping Bird’s Tail, the knee of the front (right) leg should remain in the direction of the foot when you turn your tan tien and shift your weight back.  It should not turn in, or collapse, when your tan tien turns to the left.
·       At the beginning of the form when you “sink” your weight, try to maintain that same depth of bent knee throughout your form.  Coming up and down in your legs can put undo stress on your knees.
            ·       Be flexible like bamboo.  In your practice, you may be accustomed
             to a fairly low posture (having your knees bent a lot).  However, if at              some point you injure your knee or just have a sore knee, you may                be able to continue to practice if you adjust how much you bend              your knees.  Be flexible and change how low you go in your knees.  
             By not “sinking" as low as you typically do, you will take several      pounds of pressure off your knees.  If your knees are still extremely sore during practice, you may want discontinue practice and give your knees a rest.