Yoga can help a lot with knee pain but can also hinder – the devil is in the detail.
Our knees are one of the toughest and most resilient joints in the body and can tolerate a lot of use and varied movement; however, when they do become irritated the pain and discomfort is often all encompassing.
The first thing to say is not to be scared about Yoga and knee issues. If you have knee problems then nearly all Yoga postures can be adapted to care for your knees, and an experienced teacher can guide you in the best way to approach this – that might be padding or support or changing the orientation of a posture to take weight out of knees.
It is also worth saying that a gentle approach to Yoga often seems to pay dividends – a mixture of strengthening and release is important. Alongside this, and maybe paradoxically, relaxation will help – this is because stress and tension exacerbate aches and pains, and turning away from them gives us a break.
Equally important is not to overstress the knee joint during our Yoga, especially if it is irritable or inflamed. But paradoxically it is also important not to be overprotective, as that can lead to so called fragility2, and undermine our strength and our trust in our bodies.
Knees are something close to my own heart – not only do I have two, but I injured one of them very badly in a 2017 accident, leading to a knee replacement. So I know from personal experience the paradoxes around caring for a temperamental knee.
All my classes at Yinspire are “knee friendly”, and I can also work one on one with you if you need personalised attention. Learn more at www.yinspire.co.uk
(1) 2011 study at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3408027/ by Nugyen et al.
(2) Are Yoga Teachers Making Us Fragile? – https://yinyoga.com/are-yoga-teachers-making-us-fragile/