Knee pain can basically ruin your life if it gets bad enough. It can be so debilitating that even standing up in the mornings can be a struggle.
That would be an extreme case, but if you don’t do something about your knee issues, you will probably become an extreme case before too long.
Knee pain can happen for a variety of reasons, lifestyle and age being big factors, but most of these cases can be dealt with by regular yoga practice.
Here’s five poses that will help relieve your knee pain.
1. Warrior 2
You’ll find this one is a favourite among people who practice yoga and is one of the poses that anyone who learns about basic yoga will pick up very early.
It’s a safe pose for anyone whose knees are giving them trouble and it will help you to strengthen and stabilize the knee.
It will be tricky enough at first but after a little while you will become a natural at this pose. Stand with your legs spread and then turn your right foot so your toes are pointing away from you.
Turn your left foot inwards slightly and then bend your right knee until it is directly above your right ankle. Hold out both of your arms too and make sure your knee doesn’t track back inwards.
You will feel this in your knees and it will help your quads too. Stand like this for a few breaths and then do the same with your left leg.
2. Horse Pose
In addition to being good for your knees, this will also be good for your quads, your hamstrings and your core.
Start with your legs spread apart, similar to Warrior 2. Then turn both of your feet out at a 45-degree angle. Engage your abs.
You can bring your palms together if that will help but it’s not essential. Then breathe as you bend your legs and bring your hips down.
Imagine you’re sitting into a chair, for lack of a better analogy. Keep your chest raised and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a few breaths.
3. Tree Pose
This pose is all about balance and it will help ensure that the muscles surrounding your knee are well stabilized.
Start by standing straight up with your feet together. Bring your palms together in front of your chest and engage your abs.
Shift your weight onto your left foot and then raise your right foot off the mat and place it on the inside of your left calf. Eventually you can do this and place your foot higher.
Try and hold this for a total of eight breaths. Or just as many as you’re capable of at first. Then go ahead and switch sides
If it hurts your knees too much to begin with, try this pose again after you’ve worked on your knees with other poses for a while.
4. Hero’s Pose
If you’ve got sore knees, this is probably going to hurt an awful lot at first, but in the long-run it is actually an incredible pain reliever.
Start in a kneeling position and then pull your calves out so that you can lower your hips enough to sit between your legs.
Straighten your back and stretch your head towards the ceiling, try to do this without letting your ribs protrude too much. But do pull in your stomach as much as possible.
Hold onto this for at least five to eight breaths. As we said, it will definitely be tough to start with but you will feel the benefit in your knees before too long.
5. Happy Baby
A tricky pose and I wouldn’t recommend trying this one until you’ve already worked hard on your knees and they’ve strengthened up and stabilized a bit.
Lie down on your back and then bend your knees and pull them close to your chest. Grab hold of the outer edges of your feet if you can. If not then just hold onto your thighs.
Engage your abs and then press your back into the floor. Pull your legs down until your can feel the strain in your groin.
You won’t be able to hold this for very long at first but once you’re knees have strengthened this will start to come more naturally.
So what most of these poses will do is help you increase the flexibility and stability of your knees.
Some people debate whether or not pilates would be a better choice for knee pain, and that has its advantages too.
But overall, if your intention is to relief the pain and ensure that you can keep further suffering at bay, these yoga poses should do the trick.