I’ve written before on how I think knitting and yoga are related. How the meditative nature of knitting helps reduce stress. Well I was reminded of this when I started knitting a new project. It was a small kerchief scarf. The pattern basically has you repeating the same stitch over and over again until you run out of yarn. It is a very simple project and the repetitive meditative nature is clear.
As I was knitting to stay focused and keep my stitches even my mantra was my pattern. “knit, knit, knit, knit” and so on. Every so often I would check that I wasn’t slouching and that my breathing was steady. It is easy to get caught up in a project and forget to take care of your posture, but like any repetitive motion you need to be mindful of your movements to not cause injury. When you spend hours in a row knitting it can cause your hands to cramp if you are gripping the yarn and needles too tightly. I find that taking periodic breaks to do minor stretches and take a few deep breaths help me out. As you become a more experienced knitter that just becomes part of the knitting – being balanced with your breath and you move through the project.
If you are not a knitter, but want to start, I recommend first making something simple like this scarf, because the chunky yarn knits up quickly and you will have a finished product within hours. (email me for pattern: email@example.com) Or if you want to learn to meditate, but are unable to “just sit there”, knitting is a great way to be introduced to the idea of a one pointed focus and sitting still.
Using a super chunky yarn does make a project knit up faster, but I also love using a thick yarn because of the texture. It highlights the stitches so much more and is super cozy. In the fall and winter I love nothing more than a super thick chunky knit scarf or poncho to keep me cozy.
Live Light Practice: No matter if you are knitting or sitting writing an email pause and check in with your posture and breath. See if you can keep the breath deep and steady. Also, see if you can keep a tall spine so you are not slouching forward.