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Knees-locking or not, or both okay depending on intention

 
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ariaz



Joined: 21 Nov 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:49 am    Post subject: Knees-locking or not, or both okay depending on intention Reply with quote

Hi Bernie, if there is no yin for knees, then is locking (if there is no tweaking or pain) or not locking both okay, say in vrksasana? Depending on intention? I'm getting a bit confused.....

A basic question but I thought it better to ask.

Thank you
Regards
aamina

PS I got confused when I read the following:
"Whats the danger if you lock your knees?
Locking the knee places ones body weight onto the joint in such a way that it forces the joint slightly out of place. That puts damaging mechanical forces onto the joint cartilage both the cartilage covering the ends of the long bones and that of the menisci. The long-term result is cartilage degeneration and arthritis. The effect is magnified by placing the entire weight of the body onto one leg as in some Yoga asanas like Tree pose (Vrksasana). Locking the knees while standing can also cause the pelvis to tilt forward which can stress the hip joints and disturb posture throughout the spine."
- [i]by Kathleen Summers, MD, PhD, is a contributor to Prevent Yoga Injury. She is a board-certified internist specializing in natural, Yoga-based care. Dr. Summers is a graduate of Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago and holds a second doctorate in neuro-pharmacology from Southern Illinois University. Currently, she is an Adjunct Clinical Instructor at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine, and she is a member of the American College of Physicians, the American Society of Nutrition, and the International Association of Yoga Therapists.[/i]
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 1021
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, first of all, in Yin Yoga we don't have standing postures, so there is no need to debate locking knees or not. But, I suspect you are not asking a Yin Yoga question but a generic question about hyperextending the knees (the so-called "locking" action.)

As always, always is always wrong and never is never correct. Our knees are designed to hyperextend. You could not walk properly if they didn't. When we stand at rest, again, our knees are designed to hyperextend around 7 degrees. This saves the muscles a lot of work and energy, and healthy ligaments can easily tolerate this. But, for some people with very bad knees, this could be a problem.

Should we never lock the knees in Tree Pose? I would disagree--it depends on the person. Some people definitely should, others should be cautious. We can't give a prescription that works for every body. A better question, in fact the only question, is -- should YOU lock your knees? I don't know. How does it feel to you?

I address this issue in more detail in these posts:

Hyperextension of the knee
Hyperextension of the elbow

Cheers
Bernie
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ariaz



Joined: 21 Nov 2016
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you. I'm actually a good example of a bit of both - sometimes it suits me, sometimes it doesn't; this reminder resonates

Best regards,
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