The mechanics of the knee is imposing! Its hinge structure and the performance it delivers will forever be difficult replicating. The knee joint is a typical synovial joint with the accompanying fluid for improved lubrication and protection of the adjoining parts. The versatility of the synovial fluid is unmatched. It not only provides protection but also allows smooth movement.
However, even though the knee joint might be strong, it is still susceptible to injury. An unplanned fall could be the undoing of even the healthiest of knees. Athletes can attest to that. A lot has been said about the benefits of yoga on your well-being, yet very little has been considered on how it could help our knees. We will get to that in this article, so stay tuned.
Injured your knee? A medical expert will often have you confined to a sedentary position. And, although listening to your doctor isn’t a bad idea, the issue with this is that this type of approach could have you sedentary for months. Meaning that it could also take months before your knee is fully healed and you can go back to being active. But yoga attempts to take a different approach to the injury-healing process.
Many see yoga as an activity for the mind. And, while this isn’t wrong, yoga is much broader than that. It allows you to not only practice mindfulness but also practice different poses, which will let you improve the mobility and the range of motion for your knees without injuring the joint again. However, taking up yoga might not be a great idea if you have just injured your knee or the injury is a serious one.
Taking things easy with an injured knee is the best way going forward. And once your injury has healed some, you can start trying simple movements. Avoid any postures which amplify the pain. For instance, something as simple as just relaxing with your back well-supported, lifting the injured knee of the ground and moving your lower leg around could do wonders for your injury. Just remember to stop the movement if you feel any sort of pain.
Think about it this way: your body is a well-organized unit with different sub-units, one of which is your knees. When it feels threatened, usually indicated by a painful sensation, it turns protective just like the mother hen and her chicks. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does halt the healing process, which you don’t want for your knee injury. Rather you should focus on keeping your body calm and serene, yet also keep it moving. And that’s why yoga is great. It tries to restore parity to your body and keeps you somewhat active so your body doesn’t become stiff. But yoga poses have proved quite effective also if you have healthy knees, and you would like to strengthen them.
Here are 4 postures to strengthen your knees, and keep them healthy.
1. Badha Konasana : The bound angle pose is a favorite among several yoga enthusiasts for knee strengthening. It is simple, effective, and accessible for all levels.
2. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana: The Extended Hand To Big Toe Pose, has knee strengthening benefits for both the knee of the standing leg and the extended leg. This is a bigger posture, so be sure to use a strap and modify as needed.
3. Sukhasana : Easy Pose. Sitting in this position bring restorative benefits to the knee joint through light compression.
4. Mālāsana : Garland Pose. This provides strength and compression to the knees. Be sure your heels stay rooted on the ground and use a block under your seat for added support.
Just don’t practice these poses if you have injured your knees since they exert a certain strain on your knees. Instead, consider getting into poses which are not painful, yet which will still stretch your knees and help them heal faster.
By Mathew Foster
Mathew Foster is a health and fitness enthusiast who advocates for knee health. Which is why he created his blog KneeSafe, to help people live knee pain-free and keep their knees healthy for as long as possible.
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