Hi there! It's beetee. Here in Tokyo we felt a strong magnitude-4 earthquake a few of weeks ago, which was of magnitude 7.3 at the epicenter around Fukushima. My building shook fiercely, then when the epicenter has calmed down, the building starts to swing like a hammock for a few minutes. It's quite a weird thing to experience - no matter how much you have, you don't really get used to it. But how the building swinged made me realise something: a strong building is a flexible one that bends and swings, instead of breaking. Same as a tree branch that arches instead of cracking under the weight of heavy snow. This applies to us: swim with the current instead of against it. Something for you to ponder over the weekend perhaps?
This week's quick dive: How to Yoga With Knee Pain, Aparigraha and The Quickest & Healthiest Breakfast
Oh My Knee! How To Yoga With Knee Pain
Do you or have you experienced knee pain? Runner's knee, jumper's knee or just simple sitting-people's knee. The knee joint is one of the most mysterious things that exist in this universe 😂 We never really know for sure why and how the pain occurs.
When it comes to knee pain, for me the most important thing to remember is: The victim is not the culprit. You might feel the pain right at the front or the side of your knees, but the root cause most likely comes from somewhere else. It could very likely be your tight hips, your ankles' reduced dorsiflexion, your spine's sciatica or even your shoulder issue's domino effects.
Yoga can help. If you have a severe knee pain, of course please go see a specialist to identify the problem. However, in general yoga can be useful with a wide range of postures using just your body weight to strengthen the muscles and tissues around your knees, and give the joints more juice to support your body. While chair pose strengthens your quads, bridge pose strengthens your hamstrings and glutes, low lunge and runner's lunge quad stretch give your a nice lengthy extension of the muscles around the knees. I have heard from so many of my students that their knee problems are gone after a few months of practicing yoga.
That said. Although yoga will not likely cause you a knee problem, it can aggravate the issue if you are not careful. If you do have knee pain, please make sure you pay attention to the following:
Avoid end-range positions: where your knees are completely bent (such as child pose or reclined hero pose) or fully straightened with weight on them (as in one-leg standing balance poses such as Warrior 3). Always keep the knees micro-bent and use support such as blankets.
Avoid twisted knee positions when the hips are not open: such as Warrior 1, Warrior 2 or Half Pigeon poses. Remember to take a good warm up of the hips before you go into these poses.
Avoid direct pressure in kneeling positions. Use a cushion, blanket or knee pad.
Need more details on this? Let's chat!
The Eight Limbs of Yoga - Aparigraha
This is the last Yama in the series of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, after which we will take a break and explore other "Mind" topics woohooo!
Aparigraha is freedom from greed, possessiveness, or covetousness. The virtue of aparigraha helps us learn to take only what is truly necessary and no more. By extension it is quite similar to Asteya (Non-stealing). What do you hold on to perhaps a little too tightly in your life? Does it still serve you or could it be time to let it go? By releasing what is no longer useful, we open ourselves to fresh ideas, new relationships, and more harmonious ways of living and being.
My teacher always told me: the three steps to Freedom - Observe, Accept and Let Go. Let go of unused material possessions that take up your space and energy. Let go of immaterial attachments including the need to always be in control. Forgive. Look forward. Be generous. Letting go could make you feel so free and liberated.
Start with the breath. Every exhalation is a practice of letting go.
Read more on the Yama of the Eight Limbs of Yoga:
Anything above the Earth and below the Sun is Life. Hopefully something useful to you, or at least something that will bring a smile to your face. 😊
The Quickest & Healthiest Breakfast
What did you have for breakfast today? How much time did you spend preparing it? For me, the quickest breakfast is the one made... last night, for many breakfast in a row. So here it is:
Overnight Oats with Chia, Coconut, Apple and other goodness
(inspired by Joe Wicks and my sister)
Ingredients: rolled oats, chia seeds, protein powder, honey, mixed nuts (my favourites are cashews and almonds), flax seeds, shredded apples, coconut milk, yogurt and honey.
Mix everything well the night before and toss it in the fridge. I usually make this with gut feelings - no specific exact quantities, but if you do need them, just drop me a note!
In the morning, if it's a hot summer day, take it out and add some more yogurt to your liking of the consistency. If it feels too cold to have a cold breakfast, heat it up slightly in a saucepan. Sometimes I add some homemade, low sugar raspberry or plum sauce, or any other toppings you like, such as avocado, banana, mint leaves or some cinnamon. Be creative!
Let me know how you go xxx
Thanks for reading! But don't leave just yet!
Ask me TWO questions or leave me TWO comments below. I'd love to hear from you.
Until then, take a deep breath and keep your worries away!
Yoga Quick Dive is a series of bimonthly newsletters that should take no more than 5 minutes of your reading time. Let's deep dive quickly into 3 topics: Body, Mind and Life.