Healing Tip: Bend Your Knees

Locking the Knees Creates Pain

Locking the knees is a harmful habit that many people slip into without being aware of it, a habit that can result in various chronic pains. You might experience, for instance, knee pain, pelvic problems, low back pain, neck stiffness, or tense shoulders. When the legs are completely straight as you stand, with the knees pressed back, it may seem like you are saving energy. Actually, you are putting strain onto your body. Locking the knees put pressure on the knees and pinches off some of the flow of blood, lymph, and Qi through your legs. Locking the knees adds more tension to your body because you have taken away the shock absorber effect that bent knees provide.

A Small Experiment

Do this experiment: Stand up and lock your knees. Inhale a deep breath, then exhale. Notice what that breath felt like. Now, unlock your knees. Release the pelvis into a slight pelvic tilt (this will slightly flatten the low back) and let the knees bend just a little. You want to get a slight floaty feeling on your legs. Breathe deeply in and out. Most people report that with the bent knees they were able to take in a much bigger and better breath.

Breathing is Easier

Better breathing is only one of the benefits of keeping the knees bent when standing. Keeping the knees bent promotes bamboo-like softness in the body, as contrasted with the age-ifying, rigidity of the knee-locked habit. You will be relaxing tensions, aligning your frame, rooting your energy into the ground, and strengthening your thighs.

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