The human knee is a deceptively easy hinge joint that flexes and extends the leg. However look nearer, and also you may name the knee a loopy and unbelievable Rube Goldberg mechanism, the place the femur (thigh bone) balances the burden 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 pondering, “Wow, a whole lot of issues may go unsuitable right here.” You’re proper: Knee accidents are the commonest motive for visiting an orthopedic surgeon.
Are some yoga poses dangerous for tough knees?
It will depend on the character of the damage and the place you might be within the therapeutic stage. Standing Poses, for instance, are glorious 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 embrace Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Virasana (Hero’s Pose), Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose), lunges, and plenty of hip openers. However the fact is, almost any pose might be injurious if finished carelessly.
Frequent causes of knee ache
Knee ache is a typical grievance amongst people of all ages and might be attributable to quite a lot of elements. Frequent causes of knee ache embrace overuse, damage, arthritis, and gout. Overuse of the knees might be attributable to actions that contain repetitive movement, resembling operating or leaping, or the pressure of carrying heavy weights. Arthritis, together with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is the commonest reason for knee ache, usually characterised by stiffness, swelling, and ache. Gout is usually attributable to 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 turn into infected. Tendonitis is an irritation of the tendons that connect muscle to the bone and might trigger ache and issue with motion.
Methods to shield your knees in yoga
Whether or not you’ve skilled a meniscus tear, patellar bursitis, ACL pressure, or different damage, a number of easy asana pointers will 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 partaking in any yoga pose that targets the knees, it’s essential to correctly heat up your physique. Warming up your muscular tissues and joints will assist put together them for the poses and assist cut back the chance of damage. Apply a number of solar salutations or different warming sequence to get your physique prepared for deeper and more difficult actions.
- Decelerate. Concentrate. Breathe.
People are a visually oriented species, and all too usually, we method asana by “the way it ought to look,” twisting knees out of alignment to strike a pose. As an alternative, follow from the within out—how does it really feel? Hone your inside consciousness, studying to discern between deep stretch and ache, nerve alerts and muscle alerts, and many others.
- Don’t push, particularly when in ache
When training yoga to alleviate knee ache, it is very important keep in mind to not push too onerous. It’s tempting to attempt to stretch out and stretch the muscular tissues across the knee as a lot as attainable; nevertheless, this could truly be counterproductive. Should you really feel any ache when stretching, it is very important again off and take a break. Pushing too onerous could cause additional harm to the knee and surrounding muscular tissues, so it’s important that you simply take heed to your physique and take it gradual.
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 attributable to bone form or “lax” ligaments. This implies we have now 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 ideas that trainer Susi Hately demonstrates in this video apply to different asanas as nicely. Even in asanas that don’t concentrate on the knees, it’s nonetheless essential to follow correct alignment of your knees to different elements of your physique.
- Substitute or modify.
Throughout class, commerce tough asanas for poses which are kinder to the knees. (You probably did inform your teacher about your damage 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 might be an efficient method to modify poses and make them extra accessible for these with knee ache. For instance, chairs will help you attain poses with better ease, permitting for a extra mild stretch. Blankets and blocks can present additional assist in your knees, permitting you to remain in poses for longer and cut back the pressure in your joints. Moreover, straps will help you to carry poses for an prolonged time period, permitting for a deeper stretch.
- To forestall accidents, steadiness strengthening and stretching.
Most yogis savor the stretch, however a well-rounded asana follow additionally consists of 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 known as Dancing Knees, easy joint actions good for warming up or strengthening.
- Don’t hyperextend.
If you hear a trainer say “lock the knees” (ouch!), perceive this to imply “agency your knees.” It would really feel as if your knees are ever-so-slightly flexed, however the supporting muscular tissues are sturdy, and the kneecaps are lifted relatively than pushed again.
- Be form.
Lastly, whether or not you might be therapeutic an acute damage or accommodating a continual situation, follow ahimsa, the precept of non-harming, each on and off the mat. Consider your damage as a chance to discover extra of yoga’s wealthy philosophy and follows. A pointy ache within the joint is a sign to cease instantly.
- Search recommendation from an authorized yoga trainer.
Searching for recommendation from an authorized yoga teacher might be invaluable for these affected by knee ache. An expert can present tailor-made workouts and actions which are particular to particular person wants. They will additionally present steerage on how you can correctly carry out the asanas and assist with any modifications that could be required. An authorized teacher can present useful recommendation on vitamin, life-style modifications, and different ideas 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 have got continual knee ache or simply want slightly additional assist, these asanas will 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 primary poses and progress slowly and cautiously. Training yoga commonly will help to cut back ache and enhance mobility, permitting you to maneuver with ease and confidence.
- Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virasana is among the most helpful seated yoga postures for the well being of the knees, but it surely may also be dangerous if not practiced fastidiously. This asana stretches the ankles, knees, hips, and thighs to cut back tightness and rigidity 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 energy of the quadriceps and stabilizing the joints. It helps to enhance steadiness, focus and stability by strengthening the muscular tissues of the legs, knees, ankles, hips, pelvis, and core. Low lunge is a good way to assist enhance the pliability of the hips, leg muscular tissues, and the knee joint. It additionally helps to open and strengthen the chest, shoulders, and higher again.
When training Anjaneyasana, it is very important maintain the knee of the entrance bent leg aligned instantly over the ankle at an 90-degree angle. Doing so helps maintain the inside thigh and the knee in a supportive place and prevents any pressure or damage. If the knee of the again bent leg is delicate to stress, a folded blanket or extra yoga mat might be positioned below the knee to offer cushioning and assist. Low lunge is a superb various to Excessive Lunge or Warrior I. You possibly can advance to those more difficult asanas after you have got constructed up your leg and core energy.
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
One of the crucial foundational standing positions, Tadasana reduces ache within the knees by strengthening and posture-correcting the muscular tissues surrounding the knee joint. The pose requires the practitioner to face tall and straight, with the hips, legs, and toes consistent with the shoulders, permitting for an excellent distribution of weight and stress within the knee joint. This even weight distribution helps cut back any ache or discomfort within the knee. Aligning and fascinating the legs additionally helps to realign the patella and kneecap, which may cut back the stress and pressure on the knee joint.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Utkatasana is a strong yoga squat that, with common follow, builds energy in the quadriceps and calves. This creates extra assist and stability to the knee joint, which helps to cut back ache, pressure and damage. This pose can even assist to stretch the hip flexors, which may cut back stress on the knees. It’s a strong strengthening pose, so take it simple at first and slowly prolong your maintain occasions to extend energy.
- 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 muscular tissues. Bridge Pose lengthens and strengthens the muscular tissues across the knee joint, which will help to alleviate ache and rigidity. It helps to extend circulation within the knee joint, which will 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 muscular tissues of the again and legs, which will help ease knee ache by offering extra assist and stability to the world. It helps enhance posture by strengthening the again and belly muscular tissues. 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 recent oxygen to the muscular tissues and ligaments within the knee joint.
- Ardha Apanasana (Supine Knee-to-Chest)
Supine knee-to-chest is a chilled, mild and newbie pleasant asana that reduces knee ache, decrease again ache, nervousness, hypertension, and menstrual ache. This pose works by bettering the pliability of the muscular tissues across the knee joint and gently stretching the encompassing tendons and ligaments. This improves circulation, mobility and vary of movement whereas decreasing irritation, rigidity and soreness.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
This straightforward seated twist that may cut back stress within the knee joint by stretching the encompassing leg muscular tissues and releasing rigidity. It helps to enhance knee mobility, by rising the pliability and vary of movement within the hips and low again. Because the backbone is twisted on this pose, it massages and compresses the belly 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 will help forestall additional knee points and damage.
- 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 muscular tissues that consequence from training 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 strong, difficult and efficient balancing pose to offer reduction for these affected by arthritis, tendonitis, and different types of knee ache. By partaking and strengthening the muscular tissues 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 will help enhance focus and focus, in addition to enhance steadiness, which will help forestall damage.
Greatest Yoga Movies for Knee Ache
We’ve complied the highest 5 finest movies of yoga routines particularly designed to deal with knee ache. Every of those movies will offer you an efficient, protected method to construct energy, stretch these tight muscular tissues, and cut back irritation.
To make sure you are performing the poses accurately, watch every video by way of as soon as earlier than you start. Keep in mind to take it gradual and take heed to your physique. Should you expertise any ache or discomfort throughout your follow, cease and take a while to relaxation and modify the pose as wanted.
These movies are a good way to start out your journey in the direction of a wholesome, pain-free life. So seize your yoga mat, clear an area in your lounge, and prepare to start out feeling higher at the moment!
Knee Yoga Remedy by Yoginimelbourne
This 25 minute video focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscular tissues round your knees. You’ll need to have a number of props to completely participate on this follow: a yoga block, towel or blanket, and bolster.
Yoga for Delicate Knees by Yoga With Adriene
This 30 minute follow targets the complete physique with out placing any stress on the knees. You will want a blanket, bolster, or towel and, optionally a block. You’ll construct energy 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 follow. 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 energy constructing workouts, 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 reduction is calming, mild and gradual, permitting you to drop deep into the asanas. All the follow is completed seated and in your again, so it’s a nice class for inexperienced persons to comply with together with. A yoga strap is advisable.
Everybody’s physique is exclusive and completely different, so please seek the advice of together with your healthcare supplier or bodily therapist earlier than you begin any new yoga follow. The data supplied shouldn’t be used for diagnosing or treating a medical situation and isn’t supposed to switch skilled medical recommendation. Yoga might be a good way to ease knee ache and improve the mobility of the joints but it surely may also be dangerous if not finished if finished improperly or with out correct steerage. Earlier than embarking on any yoga follow, it is very important seek the advice of with a medical skilled to make sure that the poses are applicable for the person’s wants. It is usually essential to take care to keep away from positions that would trigger additional hurt.