Yoga for knitters

In the words of people around Yarn Cove, “I finds me hands.”

These last few days I’ve been knitting more intensely than usual. I have a gift project that needs to get done. More about that later, but I can’t talk about it just yet. Here at Yarn Cove, news tends to travel quickly, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Anyhow, I’ve been knitting a lot, and my hands and lower arms are…feeling it.

Now, I’m lucky enough to be in decent physical shape, so I can be a little bit paranoid about aches and pains.

I also run quite a bit, and that’s a sport where people tend to get injured, especially runners of a certain vintage. Running generally agrees with my body, so I have avoided most health speedbumps there.

So when bits of me start to hurt, my mind takes me to the worst case scenario.

“I’ll never knit again. The doctors will have to amputate.”

Obviously, I need perspective. And I need to pace myself. I need to think of knitting the way I think of training for a long-distance race.

Some days I’m gonna hurt, and that’s different from being injured. But I’m also going to have to manage the aches and pains, like I do with running.


So, I thought of something I do with my feet after a long training run. After logging 20k, I’ll sit down, put my sock foot on a golf ball, and roll the ball around under my foot. It’s uncomfortable, but it breaks up the tense and achy bits on my sole and arch quite nicely.

I decided to try to same technique on my hands and forearms.

File_000 (3)

Again, uncomfortable to do, but my hands and arms felt much better afterwards.

Part of my running maintenance is to also try to get to a yoga class once a week.

This morning I went to an hour long hot yoga class at Moksha Yoga St. John’s.

The yoga helps stretch out my quads and hips from running. It also unsnarls my neck and shoulders from my day job, working at a computer.

But this morning, during the downward dog, I started thinking about my hands and forearms. As I switched my concentration from my legs to my arms, suddenly little pings, not unpleasant, started happening in my wrists and forearms. As the hour went on, my arm and hand muscles loosened up, and unsnarled, the way my neck and shoulders do during a productive yoga session.

If I’m at the knitting for the long haul, regular maintenance will be required, even – gasp – a rest day every now and then.

It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Namaste, and pass me my 4mm circular needles.



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