The Best Yoga Exercises for the Knees
In recent years, sedentary lifestyle has affected most of the population and left us with numerous physical problems, knee pain being a common one. Being a vital joint in human anatomy, it bears the weight of the body, helps us to walk and supports major movements of the body.
Knee pain can come into the frame for a variety of reasons, but its substantial recovery can be done through yoga. Yoga can benefit, by correcting one’s posture, aligning the body, stretching the knee muscles and strengthening the inner thigh muscles. Knee anatomy and corrections have become a vital part of the curriculum during Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh, mostly because of its huge role in perfecting the asanas.
Here are some basic Yoga exercises for knees, proven to provide relief from the pain:
- Padangusthasana: Popularly known as the Big Toe Pose. This pose eliminates any fatigue from the body by stretching the muscles and thus improving the blood flow. It strengthens and tightens the hamstrings that directly help with knee pain.
- Stand straight with foot 6 inches apart.
- Raise your knee caps and slowly bend forward as you exhale without bending your knees and back.
- As your torso dives down, place your index finger between the big toe and the adjacent toe.
- Try to curl up your finger with the big toe and stay in the position for a minute. Keep inhaling and exhaling and focus on the hamstrings strengthening.
- Slowly move your torso up, while you exhale and return to the original position,
- Tadasana: ‘Tada’ meaning Tree, defines the very basics of this asana. Just like a tree stays upright all during its lifespan, this pose helps to retain the right posture and fixation of the knees.
- Stand straight with your big toe slightly touching and heels slight apart.
- Raise your knee caps and slowly push your inner ankles up while you inhale.
- Strengthen your inner thigh muscles as your ankles move up and your body balancing on the toes.
- Focus on a single point on a wall to maintain balance.
- Lock the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute and slowly return to original position while you exhale.
- Sukhasana: Also known as the Easy Pose is a very popular form of sitting on the floor with legs crossed. Yoga school in Rishikesh encourage people to sit on the floor during meditation, as this pose lengthens your spine, makes you grounded and provides inner peace. It may sound effortless, but this pose helps get rid of chronic knee and hip injuries.
- Sit on the floor, placing your buttocks first.
- Slowly cross your legs, in such a way that your foot seats below the opposite knee.
- Lengthen your spine and drop your shoulders forward, while relaxing your hands on the knee.
- Breathe comfortably and try to hold this pose for as long as you can.
- Malasana: Commonly known as the garland pose, it is beneficial for the lower part of the body. It strengthens the hip muscles, groin, knee caps and promotes colon function.
- Stand straight and slowly move your body down to squat, keeping your feet as close as you can.
- As you exhale, lean your torso forward and try to fit them between your inner thighs.
- Bring your palms together while your elbow touches your knees.
- Maintain this position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and slowly stand up, pushing your hands out.
- Virasana: ‘Vir’ meaning Hero, perfectly describes our last pose, Hero Pose. After a long day of work, Hero pose helps relax the body while adding flexibility to knees and hips. It also aids flat foot problems and strengthening the inner arch of the foot. For Yoga teacher training in Nepal, students and yogis sit for hours in this pose during their seminars to relax their bodies while they learn the Yoga Philosophies.
- Kneel down on the floor, with your thighs making a right angle with the floor and inner knees close to each other.
- Spread your feet slightly apart at such an angle that the big toes are facing inside
- As you exhale, sit down placing your buttocks between the feet and leaning your torso forward.
- Place your palms over your knees and hold the position for 30 seconds to 1 minute and gradually increase the stay time.
Repeat these asanas on a regular basis to eliminate pain and restore your knee’s functionality.