The report from the most recent MRI on my right knee is filled with words I don’t understand — and not just because they’re German. ‘Subluxation’ is the same in English and auf Deutsche. ‘Chondral degeneration’ and ‘joint effusion’ are pretty close. ‘Arthrose’ translates neatly to ‘osteoarthritis.’ And meniscus is readily understandable with a ‘k’ instead of a ‘c.’
The meaning of the medical terminology is opaque in either language. The effects on my life, however, are obvious — and leave me wondering about what osteoarthritis and a host of complications mean for meditating.
Continue reading “Meanings, meditations, and modifications”
Sukasana or easy pose is sometimes decidedly not easy. In fact, it’s name is often a misnomer and holding the pose can be very challenging for anyone who has troublesome ankles, knees, or hips.
Without a block or bolster under my seat, ‘easy pose’ becomes ‘incredibly-hard-and-uncomfortable pose’ for me within a couple minutes. Knee injuries, tight hips, and internal femoral rotation come together to make sitting cross-legged a hard pose to hold when I’m not propped. Which means I’m rarely in sukasana without something tucked under my butt – even if it’s only a folded mat or sweater.
Just about everyone who’s taken a yoga class has done easy pose. It’s often where a practice begins and ends and is the most common position for meditating. If you find sukasana decidedly uneasy, try adding height under your seat – props can make a huge difference!
Why it’s good
- Stretches knee and ankle joints – and sometimes the hips as well
- Help strengthen the muscles along your spine (erector spinae) and contributes to good posture
- Helps calm your mind and manage stress when you hold the pose as part of meditation
How to do it
To come out of easy pose:
- Uncross your legs (using your arms and hands to help if you’d like) and slowly unbend your knees
- Gently bring movement back into your legs
- Straighten and bounce your legs
- Rest the soles of your feet on the mat/floor, bend your knees, and drop them side-to-side in windshield wipers
- Carry on with the rest of your practice or the rest of your day
Easy pose externally rotates the hips, so you may wish to counter it with an internally rotated pose like deer (see how to do deer pose on YinYoga.com), although many people feel no need for any counter pose at all.