The knee to is considered a power and propulsion joint and is easily injured as it is on the receiving end of the force of movement. The Knee is a hinge joint only moving in one plane and represents our ability to progress thru our likes and dislikes as we move thru the world as well as our feelings toward progress. Our knees allow us to dance, to move, to run and to stand straight.
Connected with pride, ego, grace surrender as well as humility, the knees are our shock absorbers, they take the strain of the weight of the body above as well as the ups and downs below. They are a major weight carrier and if the weight we carry is to great, be it physical or emotional, they show strain.
In order to bow to a higher power, we must relinquishing the ego and embrace humility or we risk becoming stubborn, proud, inflexible and self righteous. Our resistance to give in, to accept the present moment, is reflective in our knees where they can lock up, dislocate and cause you to use your ground.
As you approach your mat today, be mindful of your knees. Begin by standing with the knees hips width apart, this may mean feet together or feet apart. It is important to remember that the more stable foundation may be expressed differently in your body as your hip place ment may be different then your neighbors. The angle of your quads should be a vertical line from your hips to your knees, not an angle inward Q-ANgle. Also remember that a male has wider shoulders and narrower hips then the female and as yoga was originally designed by men for men, we as women need to claim our right to make adjustments accordingly or risk injury.
Be mindful of the way the knee tracks over your ankle and foot, paying close attention to keeping the knee over the ankle when it is bent and loaded with your body weight. In order for you knee to track over your second and third toe as you lunge forward give yourself permission to turn your toes out a bit, as this is safer then toes forward and the knee tracking inside of the big toe.
It is important to remember that teachers teach what works for them and you as a practitioner of yoga should make adjustments that honor the range of motion and structure of your body. Explore the action of the asana with out getting hung up on my toes should be here and my foot should be there.
The wider your base the more stability, and over time you may be able to change that width to honor where you are in your practice today. The teacher is there to guide you but ultimately you are responsible for listening to the wisdom of your body and making adjustments accordingly.
I heard a great response from a teacher when she was asked where the student should or should not place the feet. Her response was, I do not know, I have not seen an x-ray of your bones.