Do you suffer from knee pain? Either from an injury or surgery? My knee pain was due to a torn medial meniscus (cartilage) that I had removed in 1983. About 2 years ago my knee pain had intensified so I started to look for an exercise that I could do that would not aggravate my knee. Running definitely was not it! My search lead me to Bikram (hot) Yoga.
I had never heard of this type of yoga before, so did a bit of a search and found that there was a studio nearby. Bikram Yoga is practised in a room heated to approximately 38 degrees C, goes for 90 minutes, with 26 poses which are practised in a certain sequence. Each pose is held for 20-30 seconds, is done twice and prepares your body for the next. During the class you will work every muscle and every system of your body. You will feel like you’ve had a great workout. I found that the heat was very healing and alleviated my knee pain both whilst in class and after.
After attending Bikram (hot) Yoga for only a few months, I found that my knee pain had gone. I could do some poses that I never dreamed I’d be able to do, like this Fixed Firm Pose. I couldn’t go all the way back in this pose yet, but I could sit with my knees flat and get most of the way back, and for me that was such an achievement. I always gauge myself through pain. If it hurts, then stop! Back off a little and just breathe into that pose.
Remember to focus on yourself, and not judge your class by what others can or can’t do. Take it slowly and always check with your Yoga teacher if you are uncertain of anything.
To me, Hot Yoga is the best form of exercise that I’ve come across in years and the “Hot Yoga Home Practice Kit” as well as the “Hot Yoga Master Class” are a great way to enhance your practice or just practice safely in the comfort of your own home, with many tips for practising with injuries. These are in DVD format, and come with an extensive, beautifully illustrated Instruction Manual.