BEES KNEES. 30 Aug 2011
So sorry to hear about your knee. I know how frustrating that can be. I'm no doctor, and you could possibly have an injury or "runners knee," but it sounds like your left leg alignment may be off when you're doing barre work. We often see people work too far away from the barre or squeeze the ball too hard during squats which causes the patella (knee cap) to track out of alignment laterally. Try to pay attention to what your left foot and knee are doing while you're at the barre and/or jumping. They should be aligned parallel. Are they lateral or medial?
With Lithe, the body tends to become stronger from the extremities first, then, to the interior core. As your core becomes stronger (your core is the area from your nipple to your knees), it will free the load from your feet and lower leg/knees. Beginners tend to work from their feet/lower extremities instead of relaxing them and working from the center. Also, try not to think of liberty/lunges/barre work as "leg work." You want to lift from your center, engage the glutes and "pull up on your kneecap" so that you engage the quad and track your patella properly. This "pulling up on the kneecap" action also takes the weight off of the feet and lower leg.
Also, you've probably worn sneakers your entire life while working out. Sneakers really prohibit the foot, ankle and calf from working like we work them while Lithing. Barefoot training is a totally different ballgame and in the beginning, your feet, ankles and knees are weak. Good news ls, you and your feet/knees/lower leg will become much stronger. To ease the pain in the meantime, I would stay on a mat, stay flat-footed during lunges and ease your way into stiletto over time (or never).
Don't rush your progress-staying flat-footed is way better than injuring your knee, overcompensating with another part of your body, overworking your muscles and pushing to hard. Listen to your body, modify and see your MD/PT if it keeps bothering you!
Image of Lithe Instructor, Nicole Sewall via Dominic Episcopo