Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Practice, knee, warm fuzzy sensation in padmasana; What really happens in Savasana

Practice this morning was quite interesting. For the past week or so, I have been doing this rather unusual combination of primary and second series postures: Primary up to Supta Kurmasana, and then second to Ardha Matsyendrasana. The ostensible reason is to avoid taxing the knees too much, while slowing building back up to my pre-knee-injury practice. Truth be told, this choice of practice doesn't really accomplish this purpose: The only knee-taxing pose it cuts out is Garbha Pindasana. Who am I kidding?

But I do try to be a good injury rehabilitator. In place of Janu A, B, and C, I do three Janu As throughout. And for the past week or so, I have been quite judicious about going into any half-lotus poses very slowly, trying my best to follow the "any sensation is too much sensation" rule. Truth be told, some range of motion has returned to the left knee, and I have been able to get into half-lotus without too much discomfort.

So far, one of the hardest things about working with injury is the constant back-and-forth between ego and my, uh, more sensible mind, especially in any postures that involve going deep into the knee joint. The ego wants to keep exploring how far I can go without further injuring myself. The more sensible part of the mind (the part that says "any sensation is too much sensation") says to back off, and to play it safe. Well, so far, it seems that my ego and my sensible mind have met each other halfway. Sensible mind allows some sensation, but no pushing through pain. I am cautiously optimistic that I am not doing anything to make things worse, and am giving the body the space it needs to heal.  

The last couple of days, I have also managed to very, very slowly get the left heel to the ground in Bhekasana without pain. The trick, it seems, is to move the foot as close to the hip as possible, and resist the temptation to try to get further in the pose by moving the foot away from the hip and torquing the knee. But who in their right mind would do anything like this? You may ask. Well, I would (or at least I did, until I learnt the hard way that knees are best not tweaked in particular directions). 

Well, I don't suppose you want to hear too much more about my injury rehabilitation... Well, here's something else that might interest you. In the finishing lotuses today... by the way, I have also discovered that if I get into padmasana with the left foot first, there is some discomfort for about 5 seconds, and then the discomfort goes away, and the pose becomes almost comfortable. Why is this so? I don't know. But as I was saying, in the finishing lotuses today, I felt this nice warm energy emanating from my palms when my hands were in Jnana Mudra. It's almost like there was this little light warm fuzzy ball on my palms. Interesting. I wonder what this is? Chi? Prana? Body warmth? The last time I felt something like this was a few years ago, when I was just messing around with this Taichi move that I had learnt. I was putting my palms a few inches apart from each other, and moving them around as if I were holding a little ball between them. And lo and behold, I actually felt a warm fuzzy sensation between the hands, as if there really was a little ball between them! The sensation this morning was just like that, except that it was less intense. Anybody have any explanation for this sensation?


On a lighter note, I found this funny savasana video on Youtube:

Well, now you know is actually going on in the studio/shala as you lie blissfully dead to the rest of the world in savasana ;-)


  1. Sweet, sounds like Chi. There's a piont on the center of the palm - Laogung point (PC8)- that's probably the best point for experiencing subtle energy and is a common point for emitting healing energy such as in Reiki. I think it gets used most because it is the most accessible.

    I get these types of sensations a lot in the lotuses at the end of my practice - bodies all warmed up, energy is pumping, and I'm finally in a place where I am sitting still and not straining and my mind is more receptive to subtle feelings.On good days I can feel the energy moving through the whole body, actually feel/see the meridian lines in my body. On 'bad' days I just feel tightness in my hips, but that's cool too I suppose :)

    Glad to hear the knee is coming along Nobel, sounds like the injury is bringing a deeper level of mindfulness to your practice - maybe that's why your able to sense that subtle energy at the end of your practice???

  2. Thanks for sharing Tom. Laogung point... interesting! (it's a meridian point, I take it?). I certainly haven't gotten to the point where I can actually feel the meridian lines... maybe I'll get there some day. Maybe not. It's intriguing and fascinating all the same, though.

    "sounds like the injury is bringing a deeper level of mindfulness to your practice - maybe that's why your able to sense that subtle energy at the end of your practice???"

    I hope this is right. Maybe injury isn't all bad, after all? :-)