Knee pain or Arthritis can happen to literally anyone under 65 years of age. If you’re already undergoing any knee problems or have been through a knee-surgery, Yoga can be a bit overwhelming. But, if you follow light Yoga asanas without putting too much of strain on your knees, Yoga can actually help strengthen them for you.
But here’s a word of caution. Do make sure that you consult your physician before practising these asanas. Don’t begin practising them on your own. Too much of strain on your knees can turn your knee pain worse and can restrict your movements. Therefore, it is really important for you to have a word with your physician before you start.
Let us take a look at the asanas now.
1.Chair Pose/Utkatasana- Stand up straight taking a few deep breaths in. Be relaxed and keep your body upright. Gently bend down in a half-squat pose bringing both of your hands together and joining them. Raise your hands up while you inhale. Your body weight should be on your thighs instead of your knees. Stay in this position for a few minutes and bring your body straight up while breathing. Make sure you’re breathing normally all this time. Do not push yourself to hold your breath for too long.This asana gives you strength and stability.
2.Bridge Pose/Setu Bandasana- Lie down straight and bring both of your feet near your hips and allow your hands to hold your ankles. Inhale and raise your hips up as much as you can. Breathing should be normal. Stay in the pose for a few minutes. Slowly bring down your hips while you exhale and release yourself from the asana slowly by lying flat.
3.Half Moon Pose/Ardha Chandrasana- Stand up straight with your legs placed apart. Place your right or left foot forward and bring all the weight of your body on the leg you have placed forward. Now bend ahead and place both your hands on the ground. Spread out your left leg straight while spreading out your left arm as well straight upwards. Move your neck and observe the fingers of your hand. Take a few deep breaths while you’re in this pose then slowly release yourself by bringing your arm and leg back on the ground. When your arms and legs are on the ground, bring your body up and stand up straight.
4.Hero Pose/Veerasana- Begin by sitting and spreading out your legs. Be absolutely relaxed before you begin. Once you’re ready, begin by bringing the heel of your leg close to your hip. The sole of your feet should be facing outwards. Do the same with the other feet as well. The toes should be pointing backwards and the hips should be resting on the floor. Place the palms on the thighs. The palms can be placed in any mudra or can be placed on your thighs facing upwards. Stay the way you are for a few minutes. Breathe gently. Now move the palms to the right side of your hip and extend the left leg out. Repeat the same to release the right leg as well.
5.Crocodile Pose/Makarasana- Lie flat on your belly with your forehead and knees touching the floor. Lift up your head, legs and upper torso from the ground. Now bring both your arms behind your head. Stay in this position for a few seconds or maximum, a minute. Release yourself out of this asana slowly by resting yourself on the ground the way you began.
Breathing, which is an essential part of performing these asanas, works as an aware factor. You are supposed to be aware of the parts you stretch with each asana. That is why, in each asana there is a certain emphasis on breathing. One should breathe normally while performing the asanans.
All of these Yoga-asanas help strengthen your knee muscles that become tight. Yoga helps the tight muscles gain a certain flexibility and enable you to stretch them again. Regular practise can help you stretch out your knee while strengthening your legs at the same time.
Thus, this is how Yoga helps you get stronger knees just with a regular practise.