Yoga Therapy: Knee Health

Updated: Jan 20

"do Yoga once a week and change your thoughts, twice a week and change your body, every day and change your life"


Disclosure: Participate at your own risk, Lilac Lotus Yoga and all affiliates are not responsible for any personal injury. The information and suggestions in this article are not intended to be taken as medical advice. Always treat your body with kindness and consult your physician before beginning any new exercise routine.






Purpose: to help remove inflammation and chronic pain in the lower extremities by stretching out the major joint (HIPS) and the minor joints (KNEES & ANKLES)

Remember: when doing these poses you should never feel pain, although you may feel some discomfort, mild discomfort is needed for growth

Frequency: 3-4 times a week for 15 minutes

Modifications: chairs are used in this sequence, any chair that does not have arms or wheels will work, if not available, you may sit on the edge of a couch



Single Side Apanasana (Knee to Chest Pose)

Knee To Chest Pose : Hold for 10 Deep Breaths (each side)

Benefits: This pose puts a healthy amount of pressure on the targeted knee joint, using this pressure to purge the joint of any inflammation that may be causing pain.


1. Lay flat on your back

2. Keep one foot flat on the mat (knee is bent)

3. Bring the opposite knee in towards your chest

4. You can hold your knee or your thigh, whichever is easiest

5. Gently squeeze the knee into your chest

6. Option to make circles with the knee/hip if that feels good

7. Make sure your head and shoulders are resting on the mat, or on a pillow for support

8. Hold for 10 deep breaths then switch sides



Apanasana (Knee to Chest Pose)

Apanasana: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefits: This pose puts a healthy amount of pressure on both of the knee joints, using this pressure to purge the joint of any inflammation that may be causing pain. This pose also warms up the low back, and increases flexibility in the SI Joint.


1. Knee to chest pose, bring both knees into your chest

2. Wrap your hands around your shins or your thighs, whichever is easiest

3. Gently squeeze your knees into your chest

4. Option to hold still, or gently rock from side to side

5. Make sure your head and neck are resting on the mat or on a pillow for support

6. Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths or longer



Child's Pose

Child’s Pose: 5 Deep Breaths

Benefit: Like the previous poses, this pose puts a healthy amount of pressure on the knee joints, while opening up the low back and shoulders. Just an all around great stretch!


1.From a table top position, push through your hands and send your hips back towards your heels. The hips might actually touch your heels, and they may not

2. Lengthen through your spine and bow your head to the Earth. If your forehead doesn’t touch the mat, you might consider supporting it with your block or pillow

3. Relax the chest so it rests comfortably on your thighs

4. Arms may reach energetically toward the top of your mat, or relax them softly at your sides

5. Breathe and bring your awareness to each part of your body that is connected with the Earth.

6. Stay here for at least 5 deep breaths



Hero Pose Toe Stretch

Hero Pose Toe Stretch

Hero’s Pose: 3-5 Deep Breaths (both variations)

Benefit: Hero’s pose puts gentle pressure on the knee joint, while also targeting the minor joint system (the ankles). Both variations of this pose can be very intense for some, so be gentle.


1. From a table top position, tuck your toes and lean back on your feet

2. Rest your hands on the mat (for support) or on your knees to intensify the stretch

3. The more you lean back, the more intense the stretch

4. Hold each variation 3-5 breaths or for as long as you can



Half Reclined Hero Pose

Half Reclined Hero’s Pose: 5 Deep Breaths (each side)

Benefits: Half reclined hero’s pose stretches the quadricep on the targeted side and stretches the inside of the knee to help with mobility.


1. From a seated position, extend out one leg and tuck the other ankle behind you

2.Bring your hands behind your back to support you

3. If this feels enough, stay here

4. If you would like more of a stretch, drop down to your forearms

6. Stay here for 5 deep breaths or as long as you can


TIP* Take some time here to notice any differences you might feel between this side and your first side. Most of us have a side that is more flexible, so it’s important that we hold a little longer on our more uncomfortable side.



Chair Pigeon Pose

Chair Pigeon Twist


Chair Pigeon Pose: 5 Deep Breaths (both variations)

Benefit: This variation of Pigeon pose is much more gentle than the versions on the mat. This stretch opens up the hips, which allows for better circulation to reach the knees, thus improving both joints overall health. Adding the twist will help open up the low back as well.


1. Sit in your chair, with your feet flat on the ground

2. Gently bring your right ankle over your left knee

3. If you are feeling tight, stay here

4. If you want more of a stretch, lean forward slightly, until your body tells you to stop

5. Stay here for 5 deep breaths

6. Inhale sit back up, keeping the legs where they are, twist to the opposite side of your ankle that's on top

7. Hold for 5 deep breaths



Chair Mountain Variation

Chair Mountain Pose: 10 Deep Breaths

Benefit: After stretching the hips and knees intensively for several minutes, it can be beneficial and relaxing to just sit and breath before starting the rest of your day.


1. Sit tall in your chair, with your feet touching the ground

2. Rest your hands comfortably in your lap

3. Take 10 slow deep breaths, focusing on how your body feels after Yoga.



Namaste


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