The more I age, the more my body makes little pops and cracks. That camel pose I was working on while at the beach? Pop in my sternum, good. Pop in my knees, uh… not so good.
I remember when I was in about third grade, and my right knee would pop every time I bent it. My dad used to tell me that it was just growing pains. It freaked me out none the less. I thought one day it would pop right out of its joint, and at the tender age of 9, I would be gimpy with a bum knee. Thankfully, I finally outgrew the growing pains, and my fears were eased.
As an adult though, I now look forward to certain pops. In ashtanga, when everyone reaches toward their right foot in triangle pose, there’s this group hip pop that’s audible around the room, quickly followed by a sigh of relief. I live for that hip pop. I sometimes feel robbed if I reach for that side and nothing happens.
Also as an adult though, I’m much more cautious of my knees. Any lunging position with the knee down, I try to make sure I’m on a happy spot just above my knee cap. I’ve felt bad pops before where I put pressure on the wrong point and regret it immediately.
All this to say that there are definitely good pops and bad pops in the world of yoga. Be kind to your knees!