Yoga is a powerful practice that offers numerous benefits for both the body and the mind. Yoga can reduce knee discomfort and promote overall joint health. In this practice we’ll explore seven yoga poses that can make your knees happy. Please remember that it is essential to approach yoga mindfully. If you are experiencing knee pain or have recently injured your knee or had surgery, please consult your health care professional or send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss before doing any of these poses.
1. Knee Flexion and Extension
Knee Flexion and Extension helps joint mobility while strengthening and stretching the muscles around the joint. Start in a seated position with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Inhale straighten one leg with hands behind the thigh, exhale bend knee and bring it toward the chest. Repeat a few times and then do the other side.
2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
Chair Pose is an excellent way to engage the muscles surrounding the knees and thighs. Start by standing with your feet hip-distance apart. Inhale and raise your arms above your head. As you exhale, bend your knees and lower your hips as if you are sitting in an imaginary chair. Ensure your knees track over your toes and try to keep your thighs parallel to the ground. Hold the pose for a few breaths, gradually increasing the duration as you build strength in your knees.
3. Leg Lifts Lying on the Side
Lie down on your side, supporting your head with your bottom hand. Keep your bottom leg slightly bent and raise the top leg to about hip height. Flex your foot and maintain a stable position. Slowly lower and lift the top leg, engaging your inner and outer thigh muscles. This gentle movement helps to stabilize the knee joint without putting excessive pressure on it. Make sure to do the other side.
4. Butterfly (Baddha Konasana)
Lie down on your back and bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall out to the sides. Now, bring your knees toward each as slowly as you can engaging the inner thighs.
5. Side Lying Thigh Stretch
Lie down on your side, supporting your head with your bottom hand. Keep your bottom leg slightly bent. Bring the knee of the top leg toward the face and clasp the top of the foot with your hand (you can use a strap, belt, or scarf if needed). Move the knee back toward the bottom foot. This pose helps stretch the front of the thighs and knees, which is beneficial for knee health.
6. Seated Forward Fold (Paschimottanasana)
Sit with your legs extended in front of you. Inhale and lengthen your spine, then exhale as you hinge at your hips and reach forward toward your feet. If you can’t reach your feet comfortably, use a strap or place a cushion on your thighs to support your forward fold. This pose helps to lengthen and strengthen the muscles around the knees while promoting flexibility in the hamstrings and calves.
7. Windshield Wiper Legs (Supta Matsyendrasana variation)
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Slowly drop both knees to one side, keeping your shoulders grounded. Return to the center and repeat on the other side. This gentle twisting motion releases tension in the hips and knees while improving joint mobility.