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 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, a number of issues may go incorrect right here.” You’re proper: Knee accidents are the most typical purpose for visiting an orthopedic surgeon.
Are some yoga poses unhealthy for tough knees?
It is dependent upon the character of the harm and the place you’re 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 embody Utkatasana (Chair Pose), Virasana (Hero’s Pose), Parsvottanasana (Pyramid Pose), lunges, and plenty of hip openers. However the reality is, almost any pose could be injurious if achieved carelessly.
Frequent causes of knee ache
Knee ache is a typical criticism amongst people of all ages and could be brought on by a wide range of components. Frequent causes of knee ache embody overuse, harm, arthritis, and gout. Overuse of the knees could be brought on by actions that contain repetitive movement, reminiscent of working or leaping, or the pressure of carrying heavy weights. Arthritis, together with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, is the most typical reason for knee ache, usually characterised by stiffness, swelling, and ache. Gout is usually brought on by an accumulation of uric acid within the joint and may also result in ache and swelling. Bursitis happens when the sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee joint change into infected. Tendonitis is an irritation of the tendons that connect muscle to the bone and might trigger ache and problem with motion.
Methods to defend your knees in yoga
Whether or not you’ve skilled a meniscus tear, patellar bursitis, ACL pressure, or different harm, a couple of easy asana pointers can assist. Prepared to offer your knees some love? Apply the next tricks to defend 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 muscle mass and joints will assist put together them for the poses and assist cut back the chance of harm. Apply a couple 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 method asana by “the way it ought to look,” twisting knees out of alignment to strike a pose. As a substitute, apply from the within out—how does it really feel? Hone your inner consciousness, studying to discern between deep stretch and ache, nerve alerts and muscle alerts, and so on.
- Don’t push, particularly when in ache
When training yoga to alleviate knee ache, it is very important bear in mind to not push too arduous. It’s tempting to attempt to stretch out and stretch the muscle mass across the knee as a lot as potential; nonetheless, this may really be counterproductive. If you happen to really feel any ache when stretching, it is very important again off and take a break. Pushing too arduous could cause additional injury to the knee and surrounding muscle mass, so it’s important that you simply 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 resulting from bone form or “lax” ligaments. This implies we now 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 properly. Even in asanas that don’t deal with the knees, it’s nonetheless essential to apply correct alignment of your knees to different elements 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 could be an efficient option to modify poses and make them extra accessible for these with knee ache. For instance, chairs can assist you attain poses with higher ease, permitting for a extra light stretch. Blankets and blocks can present additional assist on your knees, permitting you to remain in poses for longer and cut back the pressure in your joints. Moreover, straps can assist 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 apply 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.
While you hear a instructor 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 muscle mass are robust, and the kneecaps are lifted relatively than pushed again.
- Be type.
Lastly, whether or not you’re therapeutic an acute harm or accommodating a power 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 an authorized yoga instructor.
Searching for recommendation from an authorized yoga teacher could be invaluable for these affected by knee ache. Knowledgeable can present tailor-made workouts and actions which can be particular to particular person wants. They’ll additionally present steering on methods to correctly carry out the asanas and assist with any modifications that could be required. A licensed teacher can present useful recommendation on diet, way of life modifications, 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 power knee ache or simply want slightly additional assist, these asanas can assist you’re feeling extra comfy and assured in your physique. Whereas some asanas could also be more difficult for these with knee ache, it’s essential to begin with primary poses and progress slowly and cautiously. Working towards yoga often can assist to cut back ache and enhance mobility, permitting you to maneuver with ease and confidence.
- Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virasana is likely one of the most useful seated yoga postures for the well being of the knees, but it surely will also be dangerous if not practiced fastidiously. 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 energy 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 a good 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 training Anjaneyasana, it is very important 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 extra yoga mat could be positioned underneath the knee to offer cushioning and assist. Low lunge is a superb various to Excessive Lunge or Warrior I. You’ll be able to advance to those more difficult asanas after you’ve gotten constructed up your leg and core energy.
- 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 in step with 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 might cut back the strain and pressure on the knee joint.
- Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Utkatasana is a robust yoga squat that, with common apply, 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 harm. This pose may also assist to stretch the hip flexors, which might cut back strain on the knees. It’s a robust strengthening pose, so take it straightforward at first and slowly lengthen 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 muscle mass. Bridge Pose lengthens and strengthens the muscle mass across the knee joint, which can assist to alleviate ache and pressure. It helps to extend circulation within the knee joint, which can assist 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 can assist ease knee ache by offering extra assist and stability to the world. It helps enhance posture by strengthening the again and belly 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, light and newbie pleasant asana that reduces knee ache, decrease again ache, anxiousness, hypertension, and menstrual ache. This pose works by enhancing 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 lowering 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 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 move 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 can assist stop 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 training this pose stabilizes the knee joint and protects the knee joint from extreme pressure, 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 offer reduction for these affected by arthritis, tendonitis, and different types of knee ache. By partaking 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. Working towards this asana can assist improve focus and focus, in addition to enhance steadiness, which can assist stop harm.
Finest 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, secure option to construct energy, stretch these tight muscle mass, and cut back irritation.
To make sure you are performing the poses accurately, watch every video via 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 a good way to begin your journey in the direction of a wholesome, pain-free life. So seize your yoga mat, clear an area in your front room, and prepare to begin feeling higher right now!
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 couple 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 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 apply. The category begins on the again and progresses as much as standing about half-way via, and ends with a seated meditation.
Deep Stretch Remedy for Knee Ache Aid 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 sequence of leg and hip stretches.
Yoga for Knee Ache Aid by Yoga with Yana
This 15-minute class for knee ache reduction is calming, light and sluggish, permitting you to drop deep into the asanas. Your entire apply 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 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 offered shouldn’t be used for diagnosing or treating a medical situation and isn’t meant to interchange skilled medical recommendation. Yoga could be a good way to ease knee ache and improve the mobility of the joints but it surely will also be dangerous if not achieved if achieved improperly or with out correct steering. Earlier than embarking on any yoga apply, 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 might trigger additional hurt.