Yoga and health of the knees
Problems with knees are not uncommon among Westerners. Many, beginning to practice yoga, already have sore knees, others, unfortunately, receive them due to improper practice.
The painful knees that result from practicing yoga are often associated with the fact that practitioners who have started their practice in adulthood start the asanas with knee strain too early, with undiscovered hip and ankle joints.
The inhabitants of the east have more open joints due to their specific lifestyle, for example, they are accustomed to sit cross-legged on the floor, and go to the toilet, squatting (by the way, this position is considered more effective for cleansing the intestines).
Anatomy of the knee joint
The knee joint includes: a large femur bone attached to the apex of the tibia, muscles and ligaments connecting two bones, a meniscus, a patella. Meniscus (intraarticular cartilage) plays the role of a shock absorber and protects the main articular cartilage. In addition to depreciation, the meniscus performs a stabilizing role, softens friction and limits excessive mobility in the joint.
The knee cap protects the knee joint and gives strength to the anterior muscles of the thigh. The knee joint is unstable in nature, so it is necessary that the muscles surrounding the knee are strong.
The main problems that can arise from the incorrect practice of yoga:
Damage and rupture of ligaments of the knee joint
trauma to the meniscus
violation of slipping of the patella (incorrect motion of the knee cap on the knee joint).
To avoid these problems, it is necessary to strengthen the muscles around the knee and properly build up the asanas, following the instructor’s instructions.
Muscles around the knee
To keep the knee healthy, you need control over the muscles that surround it.
To develop muscles around the knee, you need to use the janu-bandha – to tighten the muscles surrounding the knee joint complex. Janu bandha should be used in most asanas on the knees: it helps to improve knee stability, prevent injuries, and if injuries already exist, then reduce pain and swelling around the knee.
In order for the muscles around the knee to be strong, it is also necessary to strengthen other muscle groups: the front, inner and back muscles of the thigh.
Competent knee adjustment
The correct position in the asanas is necessary for the health of the knees. Pay attention to such asanas, like utthita virabhadrasana and utthita parsvakonasana: the knee should be directly above the heel, i.e. the shin and thigh form an angle of 90 degrees. If you are doing yoga with a qualified teacher, he will repeat this rule to you on his lessons.
Do not perform asanas with a lotus or half-lotus, if you feel at least some, even minimal, load on the knee.
With pain in the knees
Many believe that having problems with the knees, you can not do yoga at all. This is not so, you can do it, but you must follow the following rules:
Do not perform asana if you feel that the pain in your knee is worse
If you feel pain in the straight knee, slightly bend it
if you feel pain in the bent knee, slightly straighten it.
Be attentive to your body, listen to what it says to you, do not allow painful sensations, master asanas step by step, gradually.