Knee pain can be caused due to an underlying condition, a sudden injury or an overuse injury. Being a joint, the knees cannot be strengthened like a muscle instead the joint can be made mobile for smooth actions. Practicing yoga poses can strengthen the surrounding muscles to support the knees while taking any action.
If you are looking for relief for your knee pain, the answer is Yoga –
The perfect solution for many mental – emotional traumas and ailments that life throws at us. Yoga makes the knee joints stronger in the long run and relieves the person from the knee pains. The best part of yoga is that it is for everyone and especially for the people having stiff joints and injuries.
➣ How Can Yoga Benefit in Your Knee Pain?
Yoga is known for being an ancient holistic practice, including many physical asanas that allows a human body to perform bends, inversions, and stretches.
Yoga can improve your overall leg strength and can benefit your knees, but there are specific postures that can put stress especially in some yoga styles like Vinyasa – Smooth transition between one asana to another quickly. With regular practice, the pace can be increased, but at times the physical conditions, for example, weak knees may restrict many of your movements like bending, kneeling, or deep stretches.
Some yoga postures help in stabilizing your knee and strengthening the muscles that hold and support your knee for proper alignment like Vastus Medialis running down the inner quadriceps. It helps in extending your legs as well. Yoga allows you to stretch your tight muscles pulling your knees and specifically hip flexors and outer hips.
The emphasis on the breath while performing yoga poses can keep you awake and focused. They make you mindful of overdoing or overstretching any poses and allow you to stop them and there if any adversity is seen.
➣ Best Yoga Poses for Knee Pain
1) Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
It is one of the basic yoga poses for knee pain. The chair pose is moderately easy and straightforward yoga primarily for the beginners. The primary aim of the pose is to strengthen your lower body, including thighs, hips, and calves. Once the muscles in all these body parts are stronger, it makes it much easier to function in the long run.
How to practice Chair Pose?
- Stand tall by making your feet touching together or a few inches apart.
- Start with sitting your hips backward and bending your knees so that full weight of your body rests on your heels.
- Try to reach your arms to the ceiling.
- While holding the pose never let your knees go past your toes.
- Ensure that your spine is extended, back is straight, and the chest is pushed forward.
2) Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
The triangle pose is best known for strengthening the inner thighs, abdominals, and quadriceps while stretching your hamstrings, hips, and waist. The pose is known for aiding the flexibility in the bones leading to the strengthening of knees. The posture is excellent for stretching your legs along with your side body.
How to practice the Triangle Pose:Freepik
- Stand tall with your feet about four feet apart.
- Now turn your right toes in front of you and make an angle with your left toes.
- Open your arms to the back and front of the mat.
- Try to keep your right leg as straight as possible and reach your right arm down so that your right fingers can touch your floor or ankle. While your left arm should reach out to the ceiling.
- Now open your chest and look up.
- Hold the posture for about 5 breaths and then rise.
- Repeat the same steps with your left leg forward.
3) Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
The bridge pose is known as the modification of the wheel pose. It is best for the pain relief of knees as it strengthens your bottom, hips, and legs. The pose is beneficial for strengthening your lower body which in turn can help in making your knees strong.
How to practice Bridge Pose?Freepik
- Start with laying on your back.
- Bend your knees and places your feet with the hip-distance apart.
- Now look forward to inhaling and start rising your hips upwards towards the sky. Keep your palms grounded by your sides on the floor.
- Hold the pose for up to five times. Do not overdo if you have bad knee pain issue.
- Repeat it two to three times.
4) Balancing Half-Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
The balancing half-moon pose is known for stretching the hamstrings and strengthening the thighs and quads. Regular practice can loosen up your weight on hips. Feel free to use a block to support the bottom hand as you look for balancing the pose by easing the pressure on your knees. Try practicing the pose against a wall to source extra stability so that you don’t fear to fall. Avoid this pose if you have swollen knees, or they are tender to touch.
How to practice Balancing half-moon pose?
- Try to stand with your back facing the wall. Look forward to separating your feet according to your hip distance and try to point your right toes in front of the mat.
- Try holding the block you are using in your right hand. Look for putting all your weight on the right leg and proceed by lifting your left leg from the floor so that it is balanced.
- Now hinge towards the front from your right hip and make connection towards the floor with the block or your hand.
- Lift your left arm upwards or towards the ceilings and your left leg so that it is parallel to the floor.
- Hold the position for about five breaths and repeat on the opposite side as well.
5) Banana Pose (Bananasana)
This is one of the poses that can seem odd for knee pain relaxation, but once you start performing you will feel your pain; relieving from the organs. The pose opens the hips and allows the tension from the pelvis organ to release and the cause gentle stretching of hip flexor and your breath to reach depths in your body.
With a deep breath, we can relax our mind and muscles leading to the mental release from the pain.
How to practice Banana Pose?
- Lie down on yoga mat and bring your body in banana-like shape by stretching upper body and both legs on one side.
- For a deeper stretch, try crossing your ankles and clasp your wrists hard.
- Once settled, now release your wrist clasp slowly and relax for about five minutes.
- Repeat on the other side as well.
6) Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
Known for many benefits like stimulates your immune system, strengthens your ankles and alignment of the chakras, the eagle pose is one of the best poses for the stretching of your body. For performing the yoga postures, the practitioners for eagle pose stretch, wrap and twirl feet and hands to untangle their body, spirit, and mind for release of the yoga postures.
How to practice Eagle Pose?Freepik
- Stand tall, start with bending your knees and now wrap your right leg over the left and balance your body on your left foot.
- Now wrap your thighs tightly one above the other and do not have any space in between and wrap your arms, in the same way, i.e. right over left.
- If you are finding it difficult to balance try using a chair or wall for support. If your thighs cannot make full contact and some space is left in between, that is fine but try to make sure that you make enough effort.
➣ Worst Yoga Poses For Knee Pain
Apart from the best poses of yoga, you should also know the worst poses to avoid performing them if you are suffering from knee pain.
1) Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
If you ever had a ligament strain or knees issue the camel pose is not considered as one of the best and the reason is it imposes a lot of direct pressure on your knees.
How to practice Camel Pose?Freepik
- Place your knees on the mat and stretch them shoulder-width apart.
- Your hand position will be beneath your feet. Now arch backward and allow your head to fall back. Start gazing at the wall behind you.
Although it is one of the worst poses for bad knees, performing it regularly enhances the flexibility of the spine, opens the muscles of the shoulders and chest, improves digestion and circulation of blood and stimulate the nervous system and thyroid.
2) Twisted Triangle (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
The twisted triangle is included as one of the worst poses in the list as it requires the users to extend their legs out and locks their knees. The position is known for putting a lot of stress on your knees and can cause weakness, pain, and inflammation. If you want to take up yoga regularly, be aware of your knees position and be sure to practice the pose without locking your knees.
How to practice the Twisted Triangle?Freepik
- Try to stand with your feet apart of hip-width. Point your left toes forward and turn your right toes to 90 degrees.
- Try to reach down with your left arm and place it on the floor outside your right foot. Now twist your torso and try to reach with your right arm up towards the sky.
- If you have bad knees try placing your back foot in parallel with the front one.
3) Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
The Lotus Pose is one of the positions that are not suggested if you have a bad knee. As the pose is said to require a big range of motions and various rotations of the knee; ankle joints of both legs. The pose is difficult for the knees and can make your case severe if you continue to perform it.
How to practice Lotus Pose?Freepik
- Sit on your yoga mat, and spread your legs in front of you.
- Bend your knees now and try to place both of your feet on your opposite thighs with the bottom of the feet pointing upwards.
- If you want to perform lotus pose try to sit with crossed legs.
Yoga is a safe and healthy way to improve strength, flexibility, endurance, and balance.
➣Yoga has immense benefits for knee pain patients, and some of them are:
- For arthritis patient’s yoga help in reducing pain and stiffness from the knees
- Practicing yoga helps in strengthening heart which will help in getting rid of knee pain
- Yoga helps in losing weight which is helpful for knee patients as they have to lower their body weight
- Help in recovering with injuries and diseases
- Doing yoga reduces osteoarthritis symptoms
- It also helps in rheumatoid arthritis as yoga improves the overall condition of the patient.
- Yoga helps in strengthening the muscles around your knee joint.
- The Synovial fluids are the key to keeping the functioning of knees in the best way.
- Yoga is performed for the user’s advantage and never allow the exercises to overstretch or overextend.
- For a healthy knee recovery, it requires your body and mind to revitalize itself and yoga is the best answer for the same.
➣ Let us now discuss the precautions while doing yoga for the ones who have knee pain!
The advantages of yoga to mental and physical health cannot be overstated. Well, there are some precautions which need to be taken for getting the best result.
- Serenity is one of the essential precautions which need to be taken that means the ultimate goal of doing yoga is discipline, balance, happiness, and most crucially get rid of knee pain. So, for the foremost result, the atmosphere near you has to be silent and well-ventilated. This helps in enhancing breathing and improves concentration. That is why yoga is done when the outside noise in less.
- Clothing is the next precaution which needs to take care of. Your clothing for practicing yoga should be free and comfortable. Skating clothing comes as a hindrance in limiting your poses.
- Never perform yoga with a full stomach. Take light meal, as a result, helps in improving concentration
- To avoid cramps during yoga, ensure that you are properly hydrated. Keep yourself fresh before starting a yoga practice
- Always do yoga on your personal yoga mat which will help you and your body hygienic
FAQs Related to Yoga Poses for Knee Pain
Q. Is yoga harmful to your body?
Yoga keeps the mind and soul fresh and relaxed. Doing yoga on a regular basis with the help of a trainer can benefit internal and external parts of the body. Especially, asanas for knee pain help in making the body strong.
Q. Does yoga strengthen the joints?
The answer to this question is yes. Practicing different poses helps in making joints strong and surges the flexibility of the overall body.
Q. Can yoga hurt your back?
No, it will not hurt your back. Rather, it is very useful in getting rid of back pain. The point is when the person does certain yoga poses, the muscles of the body get stretched which can sometimes cause back pain.
Q. Should I keep my eyes closed while practicing yoga?
If you are new to yoga, then closing your eyes allows you to settle deep into your body and mind. Closing your eyes will help you in concentrating on your pose and you will not be distracted by monkey mind chatter in anyways.
Keeping your eyes closed for the duration keeps you stable mentally, physically and emotionally.
Practicing these yogas will bring a lot of difference in the health of your knees. Our knees are tricky joints and we need them to be flexible, strong and lubricated for their range of motions. Yoga is a tool that keeps us moving in pain happily and also allows us to listen to our mind and body to protect and repair it as much as we can.
Feature Image: Freepik