We start today’s class on our couch, a dining room chair with another one facing you or on the floor with your legs over a pile of cushions or a bolster. Now take a look at the model I’m showing you. These are very strong muscles and if you run or take my dance classes you’ll be using these heavily. You can see the Vastus Lateralis, The Vastus Medius and The Vastus Intermedalis. These underneath muscle names make sense if you know that Medius is Middle or toward the midline; Lateralis means the opposite – away from the midline; and of course the third muscle lays in between them.

Have a feel of these muscles now on your right leg with your fingers and see if there is tightness there or if you can feel any knots. Now switch to your left leg and notice any difference in tightness and knottiness between the left and the right legs. If you have a knee issue, there may be more tightness in the wonky donkey knee. Notice from the picture how key these muscles are in the operation of the knee joint. You wouldn’t be able to straighten your knee without them.

Now if you have a Tennis Ball or any firm round object, use it on the right leg now to roll it up and down the quad muscles feeling for any lumps and bumps in the Quadratus muscles and massaging them away. Use different speeds and pressures becoming present to the sensations in these huge muscles.

Your leg is heavy! I always remember my student nurse days in adult theatres to catch an amputated limb in a sack just like a giant potato sack. The effort of carrying it out of the theatre was surprisingly great and of course it came at my potato sack with a resounding thud!

Switch your tennis ball over to the left leg now and continue massaging as you look at the representation of the fourth of these Quad muscles – Quad means four…. It’s the gigantic Rectus Femoris or Rec Fem. You can see how it lies over the top of the other three and the tendon that extends out of the end of it reaches right over the knee cap.

Pop your tennis ball down now and pop a pile of cushions or your Yoga Bolster under your left knee now. Straighten your leg and feel how your thigh tightens up to allow that to happen, noting the sensation in that leg. Now we are going to do a Somatic Flow together which will release any tightness in these muscles. Try to move really slowly as you bend your knee because this is the point at which the muscles are lengthening and releasing. You might notice that the movement isn’t always smooth. We call this Sensory Motor Amnesia. Watch out for this skipping and jerky movement as we move.

If you are sitting on the floor you can lie down now if you want. Otherwise relax back against your couch cushions so that only your leg muscles are working and releasing all the others are as completely tension free as possible. You notice after this session that any knee pain is remarkably improved possibly even gone and that will tell you that tight Quads are the culprit and to blame for your pain.

Now… Lets release them.

Inhale… Exhale and straighten the leg, hold it there, breathing normally. Inhale…exhale and slowly release the leg back down over the bolster with control, noticing any jerks or tremors. Inhale…exhale and straighten the leg. Hold, breathing normally. Inhale…exhale and slowly release the leg back down over the bolster with control. Noticing any jerks or tremors. Same thing…inhale…exhale…straighten the leg and hold. Inhale…exhale…and slowly release the leg down, a little slower than that, with control.

Now we are going to add an external rotation to the movement. As you exhale and straighten the leg, this time, turn the foot and the leg out. Hold it there, breathing normally. Inhale, exhale and bend the knee back over the bolster as slowly and as smoothly as you can.
Release.
Inhale…exhale and straighten the leg, turning the foot and let outward. Hold it there…inhale…exhale and bend the knee back over the bolster…slow and smooth…watching for jerks and tremors. Last time, inhale…exhale, straighten, turning foot and leg out. Inhale, exhale and bend the knee over the bolster slow and smooth. Relax.

Now we are going to add an Internal Rotation at the hip and ankle. Inhale…exhale and as you straighten this time, turn and toes inward. Inhale, exhale and slowly release the leg back down over the bolster with a slow and controlled movement. Inhale…exhale and straight the leg turning the toes and leg inward. Hold…. Inhale, exhale, release back down noticing any jerks and tremors… slow and controlled. One last time, inhale…exhale and straighten the leg, turning toes and leg inward. Slowly release the leg back down on your exhale. With control.

Gently bring the bolster out from behind your knee and compare the legs one side to the other. Notice the difference sensations in the thigh muscles in particular. You’ll also feel the release by palpating the muscles. Be in the experience with both legs as you lie with both legs long along the mat if you’re on the floor.

Now lets repeat everything with the bolster under your right leg.

At the end of the movements, lengthen the legs away. Notice if the knee joint is more comfortable. Palpate the quads to compare the springiness in the muscles and notice if they feel relaxed and released and what has happened to the knottiness.

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