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Sensation in Knee(s) After Sleeping Swan/Shoelace

 
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acorn484



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:57 am    Post subject: Sensation in Knee(s) After Sleeping Swan/Shoelace Reply with quote

Hi Bernie,

After I practice hip openers like sleeping swan or shoelace (I hold them for about 5 minutes), I will have a sort of compressed vulnerable felling in the back of my knees (just the front knee in sleeping swan). It's especially noticeable if I use Downward Dog as a counter-pose since the legs are extended straight. I wouldn't say it's painful, and it only shows up after the pose - not during it. The sensation will last about 30 seconds and then fade away. Is this type of sensation common during a yin practice from stagnation, or potentially harmful to the knee?

Anther note, I tend to get a tingling sensation in my front foot during sleeping swan (this sensation also occurs in both feet during caterpillar).


Thanks, Vincent
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Bernie



Joined: 23 Sep 2006
Posts: 995
Location: Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:24 am    Post subject: Tingling and other sensations Reply with quote

Hi Vincent

It is difficult to diagnose causes of problems remotely. I can only offer some speculations, but far better for you is to ask your teacher. I get the sense that you are practicing totally on your own, is that correct? A teacher is essential for yoga: yoga is not something one can learn well from a book. A book is great, but you really need someone to watch and see what you are doing, to guide you and offer real-time advice. If you don't have a teacher right now, I suggest you go find one.

For the sensations in the back of the knees: it may be nothing. It may be something. I can't tell remotely. If the sensations go away quickly, and you feel nothing after the practice or the next day, I would not worry about it too much, at least not the type of sensations you are describing. The sensations may be caused by how and how much you bend your knees in the Swan and Shoelace poses, but again, not seeing you, I can't tell. You could try moving that front foot further forward so there is less knee bend, as long as the inner knees don't feel any discomfort or pain.

Tingling in the feet is a whole separate matter. Generally, I don't tolerate any tingling but there can be two very different causes: one not such a big concern, the other is a big concern. The first way you can develop tingling is due to cutting off the blood supply to the extremities. Generally this is not so bad because we don't hold the poses long enough for gangrene to set in. This kind of tingling is usually felt after you come out of the pose and the blood starts to flow back to the extremities again. It is usually a "pins and needles" kind of tingling and it is common among meditators, who sit for much longer than we hold poses in Yin Yoga. This may be the cause of your tingling in Swan.

The second cause of tingling is much more problematic. It is caused by compression or stretching of a nerve. This kind of tingling is felt quite quickly and while in the pose. It is not good. You should have zero tolerance for this form of tingling. Often, people with sciatica feel tingling down along the legs or in the feet while doing seated forward folds. From your description, it sounds like this might be the case for you in Caterpillar. If so, try sitting up on a cushion when you do forward folds, and/or bend your knees. If that doesn't work, then stop doing this pose until the conditions clears up. You may want to focus on more hip openers to help decrease the pressure on the sciatic nerve.

Cheers
Bernie
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acorn484



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Eugene, Oregon

PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2009 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bernie,

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I will be sure to ask my teacher. I thought I'd go to you first since there are surprisingly no yin yoga classes offered in Eugene. The main teacher I take classes with does have some experience with yin yoga though, so I'll see what he has to say.

Thanks again, Vincent
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