|How to prevent the knee "pop"
By Erin Taylor
Doing 100 wall squats seems like the ultimate achievement. But there is always another mountain to climb! On the month retreat Luke found that I was using my knees to power the squats and that I wasn't pushing my mingmen out enough, or pulling the coccyx forward properly. My knees were making popping sounds which indicates they were being strained. So I started again...first placing my feet a hand's width from the wall, then putting my nose and forehead against the wall. I then bend my knees so I can still just see the ends of my toes and I fix my knees in that position. I lower my body pushing mingmen out and pulling the coccyx\sacrum forward as if I am going to sit down. It is advisable at first to go down only as far as you can still holding that position, in other words, stop as soon as you feel your back and sacrum losing their position. Coming up fix the knees firmly and pull up using the mingmen and keeping the coccyx forward. The knees are merely a hinge. The power comes from the back. It is helpful to have someone else check your knees. If the knees pop it means that you are not pushing mingmen out. So ,if you can feel your knees are about to pop, adjust the position of your back. This way you can protect your knees and also learn to open the back Dantian(mingmen). Gradually push yourself to go lower and also closer to the wall. If you need to start with a book under your heels, make sure it is an old one so you can tear out pages!
Wall squats are vital for opening the back Dantian and the SI joint. Once these are open, you can sink Chi down into the Dantian and your body can truly root to the ground. When the back Dantian is open and the coccyx pulled forward, then the sensation of the Straight Line between Hui Yin and Bai Hui will be experienced and you will begin to know your power!