The human knee is a deceptively easy hinge joint that flexes and extends the leg. However look nearer, and also you would possibly name the knee a loopy and inconceivable Rube Goldberg mechanism, the place the femur (thigh bone) balances the load of the higher physique atop the tibia (the bigger of the 2 shin bones). The kneecap or patella, smaller than a mango seed, slides up and down the entrance of the joint with none bony attachment to the shin or thigh. This whole gizmo is knitted along with ligaments and tendons, and cushioned by fluid and cartilage. Perhaps you’re considering, “Wow, numerous issues may go fallacious right here.” You’re proper: Knee accidents are the most typical motive for visiting an orthopedic surgeon.
Are some yoga poses dangerous for tough knees?
It is determined by the character of the harm and the place you might be within the therapeutic stage. Standing Poses, for instance, are wonderful for strengthening and stabilizing the supportive construction across the knees… but can put knees in danger if improperly aligned. Trikonasana is just one “tough asana” the place knees are involved. Others embody Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Virasana (Hero’s Pose), Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose), lunges, and plenty of hip openers. However the reality is, almost any pose will be injurious if executed carelessly.
Frequent causes of knee ache
Knee ache is a typical grievance amongst people of all ages and will be brought on by quite a lot of elements. Frequent causes of knee ache embody overuse, harm, arthritis, and gout. Overuse of the knees will be brought on by actions that contain repetitive movement, similar to working or leaping, or the pressure of carrying heavy weights. Arthritis, together with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is the most typical reason behind knee ache, usually characterised by stiffness, swelling, and ache. Gout is commonly brought on by an accumulation of uric acid within the joint and can even result in ache and swelling. Bursitis happens when the sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee joint develop into infected. Tendonitis is an irritation of the tendons that connect muscle to the bone and may trigger ache and problem with motion.
How one can shield your knees in yoga
Whether or not you’ve skilled a meniscus tear, patellar bursitis, ACL pressure, or different harm, a number of easy asana tips may also help. Prepared to provide your knees some love? Apply the next tricks to shield your knees in yoga and assist relieve ache and discomfort.
- Heat up.
Earlier than participating in any yoga pose that targets the knees, it’s essential to correctly heat up your physique. Warming up your muscle mass and joints will assist put together them for the poses and assist cut back the chance of harm. Apply a number of solar salutations or different warming sequence to get your physique prepared for deeper and more difficult actions.
- Decelerate. Listen. Breathe.
People are a visually oriented species, and all too usually, we strategy asana by “the way it ought to look,” twisting knees out of alignment to strike a pose. As an alternative, apply from the within out—how does it really feel? Hone your inside consciousness, studying to discern between deep stretch and ache, nerve indicators and muscle indicators, and so on.
- Don’t push, particularly when in ache
When practising yoga to alleviate knee ache, you will need to keep in mind to not push too onerous. It’s tempting to attempt to stretch out and stretch the muscle mass across the knee as a lot as attainable; nevertheless, this could really be counterproductive. If you happen to really feel any ache when stretching, you will need to again off and take a break. Pushing too onerous could cause additional injury to the knee and surrounding muscle mass, so it’s important that you just hearken to your physique and take it sluggish.
In yoga, knee accidents are sometimes a results of hip tightness or misalignments of the foot or ankle. Although the knee is primarily a hinge joint, a few of us have a good quantity of rotation on the knee as a consequence of bone form or “lax” ligaments. This implies now we have to be additional cautious to not overcompensate for tight hips by rotating or “torquing” the knees. Nowhere is that this extra essential than in Padmasana (Lotus Pose), however the rules that instructor Susi Hately demonstrates in this video apply to different asanas as effectively. Even in asanas that don’t give attention to the knees, it’s nonetheless essential to apply correct alignment of your knees to different components of your physique.
- Substitute or modify.
Throughout class, commerce tough asanas for poses which can be kinder to the knees. (You probably did inform your teacher about your harm earlier than class, didn’t you?) Learn to use props—rolled-up socks behind the knees in Virasana, for instance, or folded blankets to align the hips appropriately earlier than trying seated poses. Props will be an efficient solution to modify poses and make them extra accessible for these with knee ache. For instance, chairs may also help you attain poses with better ease, permitting for a extra mild stretch. Blankets and blocks can present additional help in your knees, permitting you to remain in poses for longer and cut back the pressure in your joints. Moreover, straps may also help you to carry poses for an prolonged time frame, permitting for a deeper stretch.
- To stop accidents, steadiness strengthening and stretching.
Most yogis savor the stretch, however a well-rounded asana apply additionally contains strengthening poses. A generally underdeveloped muscle is the vastus medialis, the a part of the quadriceps that lifts the kneecap. Swami Rama taught an train referred to as Dancing Knees, easy joint actions good for warming up or strengthening.
- Don’t hyperextend.
Whenever you hear a instructor say “lock the knees” (ouch!), perceive this to imply “agency your knees.” It’d really feel as if your knees are ever-so-slightly flexed, however the supporting muscle mass are sturdy, and the kneecaps are lifted slightly than pushed again.
- Be sort.
Lastly, whether or not you might be therapeutic an acute harm or accommodating a persistent situation, apply ahimsa, the precept of non-harming, each on and off the mat. Consider your harm as a possibility to discover extra of yoga’s wealthy philosophy and applys. A pointy ache within the joint is a sign to cease instantly.
- Search recommendation from a licensed yoga instructor.
In search of recommendation from a licensed yoga teacher will be invaluable for these affected by knee ache. An expert can present tailor-made workout routines and actions which can be particular to particular person wants. They’ll additionally present steerage on the best way to correctly carry out the asanas and assist with any modifications that could be required. A licensed teacher can present useful recommendation on vitamin, life-style adjustments, and different suggestions to assist handle knee ache.
Poses to strengthen the knees and relieve ache
There are particular yoga postures that may assist to strengthen the knees and relieve ache. Whether or not you’ve gotten persistent knee ache or simply want just a little additional help, these asanas may also help you are feeling extra snug and assured in your physique. Whereas some asanas could also be more difficult for these with knee ache, it’s essential to start out with fundamental poses and progress slowly and cautiously. Training yoga recurrently may also help to cut back ache and enhance mobility, permitting you to maneuver with ease and confidence.
- Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virasana is without doubt one of the most helpful seated yoga postures for the well being of the knees, nevertheless it will also be dangerous if not practiced rigorously. This asana stretches the ankles, knees, hips, and thighs to cut back tightness and pressure and enhance the vary of movement and correct functioning of the joint. It additionally improves circulation and helps to lubricate the joint, permitting for smoother motion and correct perform.
- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
Anjaneyasana strengthens the knees by rising the power of the quadriceps and stabilizing the joints. It helps to enhance steadiness, focus and stability by strengthening the muscle mass of the legs, knees, ankles, hips, pelvis, and core. Low lunge is an effective way to assist enhance the flexibleness of the hips, leg muscle mass, and the knee joint. It additionally helps to open and strengthen the chest, shoulders, and higher again.
When practising Anjaneyasana, you will need to maintain the knee of the entrance bent leg aligned immediately over the ankle at an 90-degree angle. Doing so helps maintain the internal thigh and the knee in a supportive place and prevents any pressure or harm. If the knee of the again bent leg is delicate to strain, a folded blanket or further yoga mat will be positioned underneath the knee to supply cushioning and help. Low lunge is a superb various to Excessive Lunge or Warrior I. You possibly can advance to those more difficult asanas after you’ve gotten constructed up your leg and core power.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Some of the foundational standing positions, Tadasana reduces ache within the knees by strengthening and posture-correcting the muscle mass surrounding the knee joint. The pose requires the practitioner to face tall and straight, with the hips, legs, and toes according to the shoulders, permitting for a good distribution of weight and strain within the knee joint. This even weight distribution helps cut back any ache or discomfort within the knee. Aligning and interesting the legs additionally helps to realign the patella and kneecap, which may cut back the strain and pressure on the knee joint.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Utkatasana is a robust yoga squat that, with common apply, builds power in the quadriceps and calves. This creates extra help and stability to the knee joint, which helps to cut back ache, pressure and harm. This pose can even assist to stretch the hip flexors, which may cut back strain on the knees. It’s a robust strengthening pose, so take it simple at first and slowly prolong your maintain instances to extend power.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
This back-bending pose is a superb decrease physique strengthening train that may assist to cut back knee ache and enhance flexibility. It helps to stretch the chest, neck, and backbone, whereas concurrently strengthening the buttocks, hamstrings, and again muscle mass. Bridge Pose lengthens and strengthens the muscle mass across the knee joint, which may also help to alleviate ache and pressure. It helps to extend circulation within the knee joint, which may also help promote therapeutic. Bridge Pose helps to enhance posture, which in flip can cut back the pressure on the knees.
- Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Locust helps to strengthen and stretch the muscle mass of the again and legs, which may also help ease knee ache by offering extra help and stability to the realm. It helps enhance posture by strengthening the again and stomach muscle mass. This improves alignment, stability, and steadiness when standing, which reduces stress and pressure on the joints within the decrease physique. The pose can enhance circulation within the decrease physique, bringing contemporary oxygen to the muscle mass and ligaments within the knee joint.
- Ardha Apanasana (Supine Knee-to-Chest)
Supine knee-to-chest is a relaxing, mild and newbie pleasant asana that reduces knee ache, decrease again ache, nervousness, hypertension, and menstrual ache. This pose works by bettering the flexibleness of the muscle mass across the knee joint and gently stretching the encircling tendons and ligaments. This improves circulation, mobility and vary of movement whereas decreasing irritation, pressure and soreness.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
This easy seated twist that may cut back stress within the knee joint by stretching the encircling leg muscle mass and releasing pressure. It helps to enhance knee mobility, by rising the flexibleness and vary of movement within the hips and low again. Because the backbone is twisted on this pose, it massages and compresses the stomach organs, which improves circulation and helps to cut back irritation.
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Vrksasana is a superb balancing pose to enhance steadiness and coordination whereas strengthening the legs, calves and ankles. This asana helps to extend blood stream to the knee and enhance the general perform of the joint. It additionally helps to realign the vertebrae of the backbone to enhance posture and cut back pressure and ache within the joints of the legs. Moreover, it helps to enhance steadiness, stability and coordination, which may also help forestall additional knee points and harm.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
Warrior 2 is a typical standing pose that strengthens the legs, hips, and knees to assist relieve knee ache. It additionally will increase steadiness, focus and focus, and opens the chest and lungs. The strengthening of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscle mass that end result from practising this pose stabilizes the knee joint and protects the knee joint from extreme power, which helps to cut back the chance of knee accidents.
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
Warrior III is a robust, difficult and efficient balancing pose to supply aid for these affected by arthritis, tendonitis, and different types of knee ache. By participating and strengthening the muscle mass across the knee, it reduces pressure on the knee joint. Moreover, this asana helps to enhance flexibility within the hips and backbone, which additionally helps to enhance knee alignment and cut back knee ache. Training this asana may also help improve focus and focus, in addition to enhance steadiness, which may also help forestall harm.
Greatest Yoga Movies for Knee Ache
We’ve complied the highest 5 finest movies of yoga routines particularly designed to handle knee ache. Every of those movies will give you an efficient, protected solution to construct power, stretch these tight muscle mass, and cut back irritation.
To make sure you are performing the poses appropriately, watch every video by way of as soon as earlier than you start. Bear in mind to take it sluggish and hearken to your physique. If you happen to expertise any ache or discomfort throughout your apply, cease and take a while to relaxation and modify the pose as wanted.
These movies are an effective way to start out your journey in direction of a wholesome, pain-free life. So seize your yoga mat, clear an area in your front room, and prepare to start out feeling higher immediately!
Knee Yoga Remedy by Yoginimelbourne
This 25 minute video focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscle mass round your knees. You’ll wish to have a number of props to completely participate on this apply: a yoga block, towel or blanket, and bolster.
Yoga for Delicate Knees by Yoga With Adriene
This 30 minute apply targets the complete physique with out placing any strain on the knees. You have to a blanket, bolster, or towel and, optionally a block. You’ll construct power and stability for the knees whereas deepening consciousness and ease.
Yoga to Strengthen + Soothe Your Knee Ache by Yoga with Allie Van Fossen
This 46-minute video focuses on soothing and strengthening the knee utilizing clear and detailed alignment. Two yoga blocks, a strap and a blanket are advisable to completely take part within the apply. The category begins on the again and progresses as much as standing about half-way by way of, and ends with a seated meditation.
Deep Stretch Remedy for Knee Ache Reduction by YOGATX
This 20-minute yoga session is particularly tailor-made to assist ease any ache within the knees. This deep stretch session begins standing with easy power constructing workout routines, and completed up on the ground with a collection of leg and hip stretches.
Yoga for Knee Ache Reduction by Yoga with Yana
This 15-minute class for knee ache aid is calming, mild and sluggish, permitting you to drop deep into the asanas. Your entire apply is finished seated and in your again, so it’s a nice class for freshmen to comply with together with. A yoga strap is advisable.
Everybody’s physique is exclusive and totally different, so please seek the advice of together with your healthcare supplier or bodily therapist earlier than you begin any new yoga apply. The knowledge supplied shouldn’t be used for diagnosing or treating a medical situation and isn’t supposed to switch skilled medical recommendation. Yoga will be an effective way to ease knee ache and improve the mobility of the joints nevertheless it will also be dangerous if not executed if executed improperly or with out correct steerage. Earlier than embarking on any yoga apply, you will need to seek the advice of with a medical skilled to make sure that the poses are applicable for the person’s wants. Additionally it is essential to take care to keep away from positions that would trigger additional hurt.