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BJs, Baby Boomers and Tree Pose

by in Wabi Sabi Body ETERNAL SPIRIT
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BJ's is an American membership-only warehouse club that operates on America’s East Coast and Ohio.

On page 10 of “BJ’s Member Journal” Spring 2016 edition and on the BJs Wholesale Club website HERE is a photo of a model doing “tree pose.”

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She is an excellent example of how NOT to practice tree pose due to the dangerous placement of the bent leg’s arch of the foot pressing against a hinge joint which was NOT designed for lateral traction!

BJ’s advertisement begins by footnoting AARP:

"As 10,000 baby boomers a day1 [A Boomer’s Guide to Medicare, AARP] turn retirement age, staying fit, youthful and vibrant is a priority that has permeated every aspect of their lifestyle…

AARP is a membership and interest group for Americans age 50 and over and they are one of the most powerful lobbying groups in the United States.

On 29 December 2010 a Pew Research center publication noted:

As the year 2011 began on Jan. 1, the oldest members of the Baby Boom generation celebrated their 65th birthday. In fact, on that day, today, and for every day for the next 19 years, 10,000 baby boomers will reach age 65. The aging of this huge cohort of Americans (26% of the total U.S. population are Baby Boomers) will dramatically change the composition of the country...

The 79 million-member Baby Boomer generation accounts for 26% of the total U.S. population. By force of numbers alone, they almost certainly will redefine old age in America, just as they’ve made their mark on teen culture, young adult life and middle age

BJ’s ad continues:

Off the Mat and Into the Air Aerial yoga combines traditional yoga with the physical training of an aerialist. Yoga postures are performed using silk swings or ‘hammocks’ that support your weight and suspend your body, challenging your core strength with less strain and increasing strength and flexibility. Advocates of this new exercise regimen say it helps to elongate the spine, release physical compression and improve joint mobility.

In the Chapter “Flying Tree” in the book The Aerial Yoga Manual by Rebekah Leach she writes:

“Using your hand to guide your foot, place the sole of your foot as close as you can to the inner groin. Press your whole foot into your inner thigh while your thigh presses back, and point the toes towards the floor.”

The most important thing to understand about the knee is that it's a hinge joint with a limited range of motion.

Well-trained yoga teachers always instruct their students to never, ever place the arch of your foot against your knee because during the inevitable falls one will torque their knee causing it to bend into ways it was NOT designed to travel.

The most common example in yoga is Tree pose and many images that circulate on the internet ‘demonstrating’ tree pose are totally incorrect and unhealthy for the knees!

Tree pose is also contraindicated for anyone with recent or chronic knee or hip injury.

In the summer of 2013, grinding pain and locking knees drove me to an orthopedist. After diagnosing a total lack of cartilage in my knees he added my shoulder x-rays exposed I had end-stage osteoarthritis and with a smile on his face said, “Some people just grow arthritis.” He recommended I undergo bilateral total knee replacements as soon as he could schedule it and replace my shoulders later!

Annually in America around 700,000 people undergo knee replacement surgery to be able to remain active and free of chronic knee pain. Most are older than 50 and have other arthritic joints, but an increasing number of younger people are replacing their knees because of injuries.

Orthopedists perform more surgery on Americans knees than on any other American body part. The number two reason Americans seek medical attention is for knee pain [cough being first.]

When a knee replacement device fails unsuspecting people are hurled into painful complications. Many patients and their doctors are unaware of device problems until after they have been implanted and once diagnosed are labeled an “adverse event” which leads to revision surgery and replacement devices.

One of the most serious complications of knee replacement surgery is infection and it is easy for microorganisms to attach to the device and infect surrounding tissues. Although rare, the risk of infection continues for as long as the prosthesis remains in the body.

Patients who have knee replacement surgery are more susceptible to significant joint stiffness and if they are obese, have diabetes or fail to mobilize after surgery, increasing stiffness or “gel phenomenon” will result.

Gel phenomenon is a condition that occurs when a joint has been too long at rest and the synovial fluid becomes thickened, much like motor oil in a car that has been sitting at cold temperatures. 
The only way to get the chassis going is to move but what happens when people do not move is excessive scar tissue buildup around the joint. When the scar tissue is extensive, another surgery may be required to remove it.

Only after I began the practice of yoga in October 2013, did I learn the ligaments holding my patella [knee cap] were NOT doing their job because my quadriceps [thigh muscle] was not doing its job!

It took a few months of dedicated effort to build my quadriceps muscles enough to stabilize my kneecaps so that I could walk fast, ascend and descend the 20 steps in my home dozens of times a day without my knees locking and freezing me in pain.

When I began the practice of yoga one of the most challenging of many yoga asanas [positions] for me was Vriksasana better known as Tree Pose.

When I began to practice tree pose, I kept the toes of my bent leg firmly on the ground and when I graduated to being able to lift them off the floor I used a wall to support many falls!

BECAUSE I learned Tree Pose from yogis well trained in anatomy it was drilled into me to never, ever place the arch of my foot against my standing leg.
b2ap3_thumbnail_TreeHammock.jpg 

During my one weekend training experience in Aerial yoga I learned that ALL this baby boomer with end stage osteoarthritis really wanted to do with my yoga hammock was practice Yoga Nidra and I detail WHY in Wabi Sabi Body: ETERNAL SPIRIT.

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