Practicing Yoga is incredible for you both physically and spiritually. It helps strengthen and mobilize the body. The knee is one of the most mobile and commonly injured parts of the body and because it is mobile, the knees is often times neglected. Some of common injuries can occur in your meniscus, anterior cruciate ligament or patella.
Revitalize and strengthen.
If you feel any pain in your knee, yoga is the natural answer to effectively ease your suffering. But before you start trying these postures, remember to seek your doctor’s opinion first, especially if the pain has been lingering for a long time already. These poses will help lubricate the knees, releasing tensions, creating a larger space for healing and movement. If you feel any pain upon entering the posture, modify it, take a rest or stop. Listen to your body the following day and gauge whether the pain was reduced, eliminated or worsened. The goal is to help your knee recover faster and safely.
Ado Mukha Svasana. The infamous Downward-Facing Dog. This pose helps stretch the hamstrings, Achilles tendons and the calf muscles. It also stretches and balances your posterior leg muscles.
How: Start with your hands and feet planted on the ground forming you to an inverted V. Push through the pelvis and shoulders while keeping your gaze at your navel. Try bending the knees alternately to deeply stretch the muscles on the back side of your leg.
Virabhadrasana. Also known as Warrior 2 Pose. This standing pose can actually cause further damage to your knees when done without caution. Instead of bending the knees at 90 degrees which puts a lot of pressure on the joint, increase the angle to 135 degrees to slowly strengthen and stabilize them. Be mindful of how wide your stance should be to avoid straining your quadriceps.
How: Start in plank position. Activate your core and shoulders and bring your right foot forward between your hands while keeping your left foot turned out at 45 degrees. Extend your arms to the sides and push forward to the right foot. Make sure it is aligned vertically with the knee. Hold the pose for 3-5 breaths and straighten the right leg to release. Turn to the other side and do the same technique.
Upavishta Konasana. Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend is an incredible and easy way of stretching the back, inner thighs, groin and hips. It also stretches the hamstrings creating more space on the knee joints, releasing tensions and decompressing overused ligaments and muscles.
How: Sit on the floor and open your legs on a straddle as wide and as comfortable as possible. Activate the muscles on your leg by flexing your feet and reach forward to the ground through the waist. Don’t slouch your back and reach deeper with every exhale you make. Hold the deepest reach you can for 5 breaths and release by hugging your knees to your chest. If you find keeping your spine long and straight a struggle, use cushion to elevate your hips a bit and support your back.
These poses must be performed with awareness. Avoid putting a lot of pressure on the knees and listen to what your body is currently able to do. Never force any posture. Move consciously and slowly as your knees recover and strengthen, and you’ll surely be back in your game stronger and wiser!