You only get one set of knees

I liked this particular yoga instructor because she was funny—and she usually plays indie folk instead of Shiva Shiva Shiva music. Yoga has taught me what parts of my body are weak, and which are strong, which are flexible and which are not.

So far most of the pain was soreness rather than actual pain. Muscles I didn’t even know existed hurt and that was why I was doing it. Things were about to change.

She introduced the next pose by joking that you only get one set of knees so be careful. I laughed and fancied myself immune. I forgot about physio and the lingering affect of an old fencing injury.

Things had been good lately. I had taken up running and was pain free.

I attempted to bend the suggested way and my knee rebelled. Pain of the kind I hadn’t known for years invaded. The kind of pain that screams no; that says you will pay for that. The kind of pain that is your body telling you you’ve damaged it.

I take a week off and it starts to feel better. I go back and find that it now hurts when I kneel or try to do certain stretches or if I put too much strain on it. I leave and it hurts.

This is followed by a dull throbbing sensation in my knee cap. It is there when I stand, walk or sit. It is there when I try to sleep. It is worse when I drive. Much like the pain of a burn it keeps going long after the initial injury.

It reminds me of my limits and it also makes me resent my body. My body is a powerful tool I love the feeling of jogging and the power of my own legs. Now my legs don’t seem so powerful. Now I must take it easy. My goal is no longer to get stronger but just to get better. I stop doing yoga.