Knees are extremely prone to acute as well as chronic injuries. These vital joints, in fact, are the most overlooked human body portions. The slightest injury could have a major negative impact on the normal daily activities. While knee pain could arise from age-related arthritic conditions, injuries to ligaments, muscles, joint cavity, meniscus, or knee capsule could result in chronic knee pain. When practiced mindfully, these yoga poses for knees could help prevent knee woes. These postures are also beneficial to strengthen and restore the flexibility of the knees after an injury.
Yoga for Knee Strengthening
Sit and stretch out your legs, feet separated about half feet apart. Place your palms close to your buttocks, fingertips pointing away from you. Lean back slightly.
Yoga for Knees Routine
Janu Naman – Knee Bending
This movement is beneficial to improve the flexibility of the ligaments. It would also be helpful if you have tight hamstrings. It is also helpful to prevent osteoporosis.
From the starting position, inhale and bend your right knee and hug your thighs to the chest by clasping the hands under the thigh. Let the heel remain off the floor. As you exhale, straighten your right leg, pulling the kneecap. Hold your thigh with your hands but straighten the arms. Let the heel remain about 15 cm away from the floor.
Repeat the movement, synchronizing it with the breath, ten times. Repeat the same movement with the left leg ten times.
Janufalak Akarshan – Kneecap Contraction
Kneecap contractions instantly relieve the sharp pain your might experience in your knees. It is also ideal for those who have meniscus injury or a Posterior Cruciate Ligament tear.
From the starting position, contract the muscles around your right knee, drawing your kneecap towards your thigh. Hold for a count of 5. Release the contraction and release the kneecap. Repeat the contraction 10 times.
Repeat with the left kneecap 10 times. Then, practice with both kneecaps 10 times.
Janu Chakra – Knee Rotations
The rotations are beneficial to improve the range of movement of your knees and improve their flexibility.
From the base position, bend your right knee and hug it your chest. Clasp your palms under your right thigh and interlace your fingers to pull your heels off the floor. Rotate the lower side of your right leg in large circles. Try straightening the leg as it comes closer to the floor. Repeat 10 times in clockwise and anticlockwise directions. Inhale as you bring your leg close to the chest and exhale as the leg moves closer to the floor.
Practice the same with your left leg.
Ardha Baddha Konasana – Half Butterfly
This posture improves the hip and groin flexibility while offering you an opportunity to prepare yourself for deeper hip-opening practices like Padmasana.
From the starting position, bend your right knee and place the right heel close your left groin. Rest your right palm on top of the right knee and hold your right toes with your left foot. Inhale and gently lift your right knee up, bringing it close to your chest. Exhale and press the right knee down close to the floor. Keep your upper body static.
Keep the muscles of your right leg passive and use your right arm to make the movements. Practice 10 times on the right and then repeat the same with the left side.
Baddha Konasana – Butterfly Pose
It relieves the tension stored in the knees due to long hours of standing and walking. It is also beneficial to relax the thigh muscles and strengthen the hips and knees.
From the starting position, bend your knees and join the soles of your feet. Hold your feet with both hands. Inhale and gently move your knees up. Exhale and gently bring the knees down without exerting any pressure. Repeat 30 times.
Straighten your legs and relax.
You could practice the above-mentioned yoga poses for knees whenever you feel like giving your knee a good stretch.
Utkatasana – Chair Pose Against the Wall
This yoga pose for knees will strengthen the quadriceps, hamstrings, and abductors. It also increases blood flow to the lower region of the body, improving the fluidity of movement.
After you complete Butterfly, stand up. Separate your feet hip-width apart. Lean against a wall and gently, slide down until your knees and ankles are parallel with each other. Place your palms on your waist or stretch your arms to the ceiling. Hold the pose for five deep breaths. Inhale and straighten the legs.
Repeat the posture five times, increasing the breath count for deeper experience.
Salamba Setu Bhandasana – Supported Bridge Pose
Bridge pose helps with proper knee alignment. It also works towards strengthening your back, glutes, and hamstrings.
After completing the Chair Pose, recline on your back. Bend your knees, separating your knees and feet hip-width apart and bring the feet close to your buttocks. Place a block horizontally on the floor between your feet.
Pressing the corners of your feet firmly into the block and floor, engage your navel to bring it close to the spine. Press your lower back into the floor. Inhale, tuck the tailbone in, and lift your hips to the ceiling. Roll your shoulders down and close to each other. Stretch out your arms under you and interlace your fingers.
Exhale and as you inhale, lift your torso higher to bring your chest close to the chin. Hold the posture for five deep breaths.
Exhale and release your upper back, middle back, lower back, and hips, in the order, to the floor.
Repeat five times.
You need to be extra cautious while practicing yoga. While the yoga poses for knees are beneficial, the slightest carelessness could invite unsolicited trouble. So, please be careful!