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 unbelievable 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 complete gizmo is knitted along with ligaments and tendons, and cushioned by fluid and cartilage. Perhaps you’re pondering, “Wow, a number of issues may go improper right here.” You’re proper: Knee accidents are the most typical motive for visiting an orthopedic surgeon.
Are some yoga poses dangerous for difficult knees?
It relies 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 “difficult 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 fact is, almost any pose may be injurious if finished carelessly.
Frequent causes of knee ache
Knee ache is a standard grievance amongst people of all ages and may be attributable to quite a lot of components. Frequent causes of knee ache embody overuse, damage, arthritis, and gout. Overuse of the knees may be attributable to actions that contain repetitive movement, equivalent 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 usually attributable to an accumulation of uric acid within the joint and may result in ache and swelling. Bursitis happens when the sacs of fluid that cushion and lubricate the knee joint grow to be infected. Tendonitis is an irritation of the tendons that connect muscle to the bone and might trigger ache and issue with motion.
shield your knees in yoga
Whether or not you’ve skilled a meniscus tear, patellar bursitis, ACL pressure, or different damage, a couple of easy asana tips can assist. Prepared to present your knees some love? Observe 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 necessary to correctly heat up your physique. Warming up your muscle tissues and joints will assist put together them for the poses and assist scale back the danger of damage. Observe a couple 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 inner consciousness, studying to discern between deep stretch and ache, nerve alerts and muscle alerts, and so forth.
- Don’t push, particularly when in ache
When practising yoga to alleviate knee ache, it is very important keep in mind to not push too arduous. It’s tempting to attempt to stretch out and stretch the muscle tissues across the knee as a lot as attainable; nevertheless, 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 may cause additional injury to the knee and surrounding muscle tissues, 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 because of bone form or “lax” ligaments. This implies we’ve got to be additional cautious to not overcompensate for tight hips by rotating or “torquing” the knees. Nowhere is that this extra necessary than in Padmasana (Lotus Pose), however the ideas that trainer 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 necessary to follow correct alignment of your knees to different elements of your physique.
- Substitute or modify.
Throughout class, commerce difficult asanas for poses which can be kinder to the knees. (You probably did inform your teacher about your damage earlier than class, didn’t you?) Discover ways 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 may be an efficient method to modify poses and make them extra accessible for these with knee ache. For instance, chairs can assist you attain poses with better ease, permitting for a extra mild stretch. Blankets and blocks can present additional assist to your knees, permitting you to remain in poses for longer and scale back the pressure in your joints. Moreover, straps can assist you to carry poses for an prolonged time frame, permitting for a deeper stretch.
- To forestall accidents, stability 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.
Whenever you hear a trainer 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 tissues are sturdy, and the kneecaps are lifted quite than pushed again.
- Be variety.
Lastly, whether or not you might be therapeutic an acute damage or accommodating a power situation, follow ahimsa, the precept of non-harming, each on and off the mat. Consider your damage as a possibility to discover extra of yoga’s wealthy philosophy and practices. A pointy ache within the joint is a sign to cease instantly.
- Search recommendation from a licensed yoga trainer.
In search of recommendation from a licensed yoga teacher may 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 will additionally present steering on the way to correctly carry out the asanas and assist with any modifications that could be required. A licensed teacher can present useful recommendation on diet, 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 will have 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 necessary to begin with primary poses and progress slowly and cautiously. Practising yoga often can assist to scale back ache and enhance mobility, permitting you to maneuver with ease and confidence.
- Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virasana is among the most useful seated yoga postures for the well being of the knees, but it surely may also be dangerous if not practiced rigorously. This asana stretches the ankles, knees, hips, and thighs to scale back tightness and stress 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 operate.
- Anjaneyasana (Low Lunge)
Anjaneyasana strengthens the knees by rising the energy of the quadriceps and stabilizing the joints. It helps to enhance stability, focus and stability by strengthening the muscle 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 muscle tissues, and the knee joint. It additionally helps to open and strengthen the chest, shoulders, and higher again.
When practising 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 further yoga mat may be positioned underneath the knee to offer cushioning and assist. Low lunge is a good different to Excessive Lunge or Warrior I. You possibly can advance to those more difficult asanas after you will have 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 muscle tissues 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 an excellent distribution of weight and stress within the knee joint. This even weight distribution helps scale back any ache or discomfort within the knee. Aligning and fascinating the legs additionally helps to realign the patella and kneecap, which may scale 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 scale back ache, pressure and damage. This pose may assist to stretch the hip flexors, which may scale back stress on the knees. It’s a strong strengthening pose, so take it straightforward at first and slowly prolong your maintain instances to extend energy.
- Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
This back-bending pose is a superb decrease physique strengthening train that may assist to scale back knee ache and enhance flexibility. It helps to stretch the chest, neck, and backbone, whereas concurrently strengthening the buttocks, hamstrings, and again muscle tissues. Bridge Pose lengthens and strengthens the muscle tissues across the knee joint, which can assist to alleviate ache and stress. It helps to extend circulation within the knee joint, which can assist promote therapeutic. Bridge Pose helps to enhance posture, which in flip can scale back the pressure on the knees.
- Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Locust helps to strengthen and stretch the muscle tissues 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 tissues. This improves alignment, stability, and stability 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 muscle 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 enhancing the pliability of the muscle tissues across the knee joint and gently stretching the encircling tendons and ligaments. This improves circulation, mobility and vary of movement whereas decreasing irritation, stress and soreness.
- Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
This easy seated twist that may scale back stress within the knee joint by stretching the encircling leg muscle tissues and releasing stress. 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 scale back irritation.
- Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Vrksasana is a superb balancing pose to enhance stability and coordination whereas strengthening the legs, calves and ankles. This asana helps to extend blood move to the knee and enhance the general operate of the joint. It additionally helps to realign the vertebrae of the backbone to enhance posture and scale back pressure and ache within the joints of the legs. Moreover, it helps to enhance stability, stability and coordination, which can assist stop additional knee points and damage.
- Virabhadrasana II (Warrior 2)
Warrior 2 is a standard standing pose that strengthens the legs, hips, and knees to assist relieve knee ache. It additionally will increase stability, focus and focus, and opens the chest and lungs. The strengthening of the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscle tissues that consequence from practising this pose stabilizes the knee joint and protects the knee joint from extreme drive, which helps to scale back the danger of knee accidents.
- Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)
Warrior III is a strong, difficult and efficient balancing pose to offer aid for these affected by arthritis, tendonitis, and different types of knee ache. By partaking and strengthening the muscle 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 scale back knee ache. Practising this asana can assist improve focus and focus, in addition to enhance stability, which can assist stop damage.
Greatest Yoga Movies for Knee Ache
We’ve complied the highest 5 greatest movies of yoga routines particularly designed to deal with knee ache. Every of those movies will offer you an efficient, secure method to construct energy, stretch these tight muscle tissues, and scale back irritation.
To make sure you are performing the poses appropriately, watch every video by as soon as earlier than you start. Keep in mind to take it sluggish and hearken to your physique. If you happen to 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 begin your journey in direction of a wholesome, pain-free life. So seize your yoga mat, clear an area in your lounge, and prepare to begin feeling higher right now!
Knee Yoga Remedy by ginimelbourne
This 25 minute video focuses on strengthening and stretching the muscle tissues round your knees. You’ll need to have a couple of props to totally 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 total physique with out placing any stress on the knees. You will have 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 really helpful to totally take part within the follow. The category begins on the again and progresses as much as standing about half-way by, 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 workout routines, 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 aid is calming, mild and sluggish, permitting you to drop deep into the asanas. The complete follow is finished seated and in your again, so it’s a nice class for newcomers to observe together with. A yoga strap is really helpful.
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 follow. The data offered shouldn’t be used for diagnosing or treating a medical situation and isn’t supposed to switch skilled medical recommendation. Yoga may 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 steering. 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 acceptable for the person’s wants. It’s also necessary to take care to keep away from positions that would trigger additional hurt.