8 Yoga Poses For Knee and Back Pain Relief

When I first started practicing yoga, I was coming into it after six years of aerobic activity. My knees and hips suffered the consequences from repeated injury from impact and as I progressed in my practice,some of the yoga poses hurt my knees. I incorporated modifications, alternative poses, and even the use of props in my practice. I was able to feel the pose while simultaneously healing and strengthening my knees.

Having bad knees shouldn’t keep you from your yoga mat. If you experience or have knee problems, chose a slow, alignment-based style of yoga such as Iyengar or Hatha yoga and ask your teacher prior to class about modifications you could do. Taking care of your knees and knee pain with yoga exercises will help you enjoy your practice more and move around more happily in your world.

Yoga strengthens the muscles in the lower and upper legs, which protects and stabilizes the knee joint. Performed correctly, yoga’s fluid movements allow swollen or otherwise painful joints to glide smoothly over one another, increasing mobility and strength without excess wear and tear. Yoga is a safe alternative to weight-bearing exercises that could worsen knee joints because yoga strengthens the muscles around them, which reduces tension and increases mobility.

Yoga Poses For Knee Pain Relief:

1. Uktatasana :

Chair pose, it is a very good option among all the yoga exercises for knee pain

Steps:

• Stand in Tadasana. Gradually raise your arms, while taking in your breath, till the arms are perpendicular to the floor. Either join your palms or keep your arms parallel and facing inward.Gradually bend your knees while breathing out, and trying to bring the thighs as parallel to the floor as possible. The knees will go forward, and your torso will lean forward over the thighs until the chest forms nearly a right angle with the thighs. Keep the knees close to each other and press the heads of the thigh bones down towards the ankles.

• Keep your shoulder firm, keeping the blades straight against your back. Movie your lower pelvis down towards the floor while trying to keep the lower back long.

• Continue for 30 to 60 seconds. To come out of Uktatasana, gradually straighten your knees, while taking in your breath, lifting strongly through the arms. Gradually, while breathing out, release your arms to your sides into Tadasana.

Benefits:

Utkatasana helps in building te strength of knees, ankles, and calves. It strengthens quadriceps as well as hamstrings, which contribute to the stability of knees. The quadriceps and hamstrings gradually start giving support to the knees and this reduces the pain in the knees.

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2. Vrikshasana:

Vrikshasana increases the ability to concentrate, and the coordination of the body in order to practice different asanas. It helps in training the body to balance on single foot.

Steps:

• Open your arms to the sides, and keep them parallel to the floor.

• Fold your right leg and try to bring the right sole on the inner side of the left thigh.

• While balancing the body on the left foot, gradually bring your arms over head, keeping the palms facing each other. Try not to bend your knees.

• In this posture take ten breaths cycles of inhalation and exhalation.

• Bring down the arms gradually to get back to normal posture. Repeat the same procedure, just folding the left leg instead of the right, and bringing the sole to the inner side of right thigh.

• In the beginning, practice this only for 10 complete breathing cycles and then gradually increase the duration.

Benefits:

• Vrikshasana strengthens the spine, calves, thighs, ankles, ligaments and tendons of the feet.

• Vrikshasana helps in achieving steadiness in various aspects of life.

3. Urdhva Prasarita Padasana:

It is also known as “legs up the wall” pose. In the beginning take the help of the wall while practising the asana but afterwards, do it by yourself without taking support from the wall. It basically relaxes the hamstring muscles and prevents back pain.

Steps:

• Lie straight on the floor keeping your leg fully extended on the floor.

• Now extend your arm and palms facing the ground along the side of your body.

• Then, while first bending your knees, bring your thighs towards the abdomen.

• Extend the legs upwards while taking the support of the wall and keep the arms over your head. After practising the asana a few times, try to do it without the support of the wall.

Benefits:

It strengthens the core muscles of the body including the quadriceps and the hamstring. This leads to the good health of the knee and improves posture because bad posture leads to severe knee pain

4. Gomukhasana:

This asana is commonly known as the cow face, but you should not do this asana if your knee is still hurting. This asana prevents the pain but if the pain has already started, do not practice this asana.

Steps:

• Bend the left leg and put the left heel under the right thigh.

• Then bend the right leg over the left knee so that both knees are kept one over another in a straight line.

• Now it is time to position the arms. Bend the left arm so that the left forearm comes behind the back and the left arm is pointing upward

• Bend the right elbow, so that the right arm comes in between the shoulder blade and the right hand is pointing downwards

• Clasp the fingers of the left hand with the right hand

• Practice the position for 5 complete breathing cycles and then change the position of your legs and hands.

• Practice 10 -12 sets in each position.

Benefits:

It improves your posture and relaxes the muscles in the knee area. Do not practice it if you have any knee related problem, it helps in precaution but not as pain relief.

5. Marichyasana:

The word marichi means rays of light. This asana can be substituted for the Ardha Matsyendrasana (spinal twist).

Steps:

• Sit in staff pose.

• While bending the left knee keep the left heel on the floor.

• Twist the torso to the right.

• keep the left arm forward, lengthen your torso forward and snuggle the left shin into the armpit. Then on an exhalation, sweep the forearm around the outside of the leg. The left hand will press against the outside of the left thigh or buttock.

• Put your left arm forward and rotate it inward so the thumb points to the floor and the palm faces out to the left. As you stretch the left arm forward, lengthen your torso forward and snuggle the left shin into the armpit. Then on an exhalation, sweep the forearm around the outside of the leg. The left hand will press against the outside of the left thigh or buttock.

Practice the asana; 30 seconds for each leg.

Benefit:

It helps in strengthening the spine and relaxes the stiffness in the back. More than this, it increases the mobility of the knees so that the strength of the cartilages and the muscles increases.

6. Viparita Karan:

It is almost the same as Urdhva Prasarita Padasana, but in Urdhva Prasarita Padasana we do not take the help of the wall. Here you can take the help of the wall. The steps and benefits are the same as the Urdhva Prasarita Padasana. Practicing this similar yoga for knee pain, helps improve in the knee pain.

7. Garudasana:

It is also known as eagle asana.

Steps:

• Stand in mountain pose.

• Cross the left arm over the right arm.

• Bend your elbows, wrapping your forearms around each other, palms facing each other. Your fingers should point to the ceiling. If the palms do not touch, rest one palm against the other wrist or forearm.

• Cross your right leg over the left, just above the knee.

• Place the right foot behind your left lower leg and hook the foot over the left calf or ankle. If you are unable to reach the left calf, place the right foot next to left lower leg.

Practice this asana for 30 -60 seconds; each leg and arm

Benefits:

It helps in losening the ankles and hips. It prevents knee pain and strengthens the legs.

8. Virasana:

The other name for this asana is “hero pose”. Avoid it if you are already suffering from a knee problem. It is the easiest among all the yoga for knee pain.

Steps:

• Kneel down and sit.

• Keep your arms on your thighs between the feet.

• Relax your shoulders

Practice 9 -12 sets for 30 -60 seconds, each set

Benefits:

• Stretches top thighs, knees, ankles and feet.

• All these yoga asanas and exercises for knee pain help to reduce the pain you are suffering from. Some of these asanas, if practiced regularly, even if you do not have any knee problems, will protect you from having them in the future. Afterall, prevention is better than cure!