When you have knee pain that results from an injury, every movement can be intimidating. The last thing you want to do, however, is avoid movement, as stagnation can elongate the recovery process. You should aim to move, stretch, and strengthen your knee if you want to aid your recovery process. How do you do that without causing more pain? The yoga poses in this article should help with your recovery, whether it was from an injury, surgery, or overuse.
There are a few key aspects that can help support your knee during the recovery process. Because the knees are between the hips and the feet, they tend to take the most impact, especially during higher-impact activities. Engaging in certain yoga poses can not only strengthen and lengthen the muscles around the knee, but it also does this in a gentle way. Yoga also aims to open the hips and improve your balance, two integral aspects for recovering from a knee injury. By improving your balance, body awareness, and stability, you can begin to do more with your knee, but just remember not to overdo it and always take it slow.
Working to strengthen your lower back muscles, locust pose helps to activate muscles in the lower part of the body. This works to create stability and increases support for the knee. Start by laying down on the ground on your stomach. Rest the left side of your face on the ground and place your arms by your side, facing your palms up. As you inhale, lift your chest and arms off the ground, bringing your shoulder blades closer together. Face the ground and tuck your chin slightly. You can remain here without activating the lower body, or you can squeeze your glutes, lower back, and hamstrings to lift your legs off the ground. Stay here for five deep breaths and then relax. Rest for a few breaths and then repeat two more times.
This pose aims to open the hips, lower back, and hamstrings. When you create more space in these areas, you can help reduce the tension and stress in the knee area. Begin in a seated position with your legs extended out in front of you. Bend your right knee to bring the sole of your right foot to the left inner thigh. Hinging at the hips, lean forward and attempt to bring your forehead to your knee. If you cannot get down that far, don’t worry. If you want to deepen the stretch, flex your foot and reach for your toes. If you need support, you can put a bolster or yoga block under your right knee. Hold for five to 10 deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.
During this pose, you may feel some relief in your knee, but you should especially feel it in your lower back. This stretch helps to stabilize the pelvis and improve range of motion in the knees, making it excellent for recovery. Lie flat on your back with your arms by your sides. Bend your right knee and bring it up towards your chest. Grab your right shin and gently bring it closer to your chest, aiming to hug it completely against your chest. Don’t for it though, as you shouldn’t cause pain. Stay here for 10 deep breaths before repeating on the other side.
By strengthening your quadriceps, hips, and glutes, you can help create more stability in the knees. The lower you sink into the pose, the more strength you can build, but just remember to take it slow. Stand straight up with your feet hip-distance apart. Bend your knees slightly, pull the lower abdomen into the spine, and sit back as if to sit down in a chair. Make sure your knees don’t extend beyond your toes and try to raise your arms above your head, keeping them in a straight line with your back. Hold the position for five deep breaths and then return to the starting position. Repeat two more times after a quick rest.
Supported Tree Pose
Regular tree pose is a test for your balance, but it can strain your knee if you are recovering from a knee injury. Start in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart. Place a yoga block on the outside of your right foot. Shift your weight to the left and lift your right foot off the ground as you bend your knee. Turn your right knee out and place the ball of your right foot on the yoga block, allowing the heel to rest on your left shin. Push into your standing leg to keep your hips level and bring your hands to heart center. Remain in this pose for 10 deep breaths and then repeat on the other side.