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  • Julie Phillips

The Notorious Knee

Since September, our focus has moved up from the feet to the knees.

I meet so many people who talk about issues with their knees, and really, it's no wonder. The knee is an amazing and complex structure that maneuvers us through space, with nearly as much agility and ability to move in all kinds of different positions as our feet.

Last month we considered how the multiple bones and joints in the feet are able to keep us stable even as we navigate uneven terrain, and how they are constantly in a little dance to keep us from falling down.

When it comes to the knees, we tend to think of them as just bending in one direction. But if you've ever injured your knee and then tried getting into and out of your car, for instance, you know that the twisting motion around the joint itself is pretty amazing. It's subtle, and of course a twist shouldn't go too far, but still. Those little ligaments allow for a much greater range of motion than we tend to think. Eric Franklin, a wonderful movement therapist, talks about it in this video too --

He talks about how the femur (thigh bone) rotates externally with every forward step, as the tibia (shin bone) rotates internally (and then the opposite as the front leg becomes the back leg). Those of you who know me know I love to geek out on this kind of stuff.

We'll be looking at all kinds of Yamuna rolls and exercises this month for knee health -- alignment and strengthening. And it's all based on what we learned last month about our feet, and how little structural issues, like over-pronation, can really affect the entire leg. A fallen arch, for instance, pulls the whole inner leg down toward the floor, so pain on the inside of the knee is a natural thing to follow a fallen arch.

For those interested in a taster, here's a video in which Yamuna shows some simple knee work that, trust me, feels amazing.

If you have knee issues or problems, do yourself a favor and come to a class at Studio this month. And if you know someone who has a bum knee or two, share the love!

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