Knee pain and discomfort affects a lot of us. In fact, about 25% of adults have some form of limitation in terms of mobility or function that impacts quality of life. Yoga can help by strengthening and stretching the major muscles around the knee.
The yoga sequence below works the quadriceps for knee extension, hamstrings for knee flexion, hip adductors for the inner thighs, and hip abductors for the outer thighs. This builds strength and stability for the knees.
Building strength around our knees helps us feel rooted, connected, grounded, and stable. As you move through this short series of yoga poses let your intention be: I am stable. I am rooted. I am connected.
After a quick warm up, try this sequence for strong, stable knees:
This pose builds mobility in the front knee and strength in the back knee.
- Step your right foot back into a high lunge position.
- Keep our left knee directly over your left ankle.
- Engage your right thigh to straighten your back leg.
- Stabilize your lower body by engaging your inner thighs to make it feel like you could slide your feet closer together.
- Lift your left hand toward the sky.
Hold for 5-10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Warrior II – Reverse Warrior – Extended Side Angle Vinyasa
In this three pose vinyasa the magic happens when we keep our lower body completely still. The tendency is to slightly straighten the front knee when coming out of Extended Side Angle pose. Keep the deep bend of Extended Side Angle pose even when in Reverse Warrior pose to get the most out of this vinyasa.
Come into Warrior II pose.
- Step your right foot back and turn your right toes and torso to face the long side of your mat.
- Point your left toes to face the short end of your mat.
- Bend your left knee into a right angle. (Shin perpendicular and thigh parallel to the ground.)
- Line up your knee so it is right over your ankle.
- Open your arms so they are parallel to the ground with palms facing down.
Exhale and transition into Reverse Warrior pose.
- Without moving your legs, tilt your upper body toward the back of your mat.
- Let your right hand gently touch your straight, right leg.
- Reach your left hand up toward the sky or along your ear.
Inhale and transition back to Warrior II pose.
Exhale and transition into Extended Side Angle pose.
- Without moving your legs, tilt your upper body toward the front of your mat.
- Bend your left elbow and bring your forearm onto your left thigh.
- Reach your right arm along your ear to create a straight line from your right ankle to your right fingers.
Inhale and transition back to Warrior II. This is one vinyasa. Repeat for 5 – 10 rounds.
Then switch legs to repeat on the other side.
Goddess – Star Vinyasa
By performing these poses together, we can go deeper into them. The movement of the vinyasa helps to lubricate the joints building strong, stable knees.
Come into Goddess pose.
- Step the feet apart about 3 to 4 feet.
- Turn your toes to face the corners of your mat (about 45-degree angles.)
- Open your arms so the upper arms are parallel to the ground.
- Bend your elbows to right angles with your thumbs pointing toward your ears.
- At the same time, bend your knees to bring them over your ankles.
Inhale and transition into Star pose.
- Straighten your legs and arms.
- Reach your arms up to a 45 angle.
Repeat (exhale for Goddess and inhale for Star) 5 – 10 rounds.
This pose uses the full range of motion in your bent knee while lengthening the back of your straight leg.
- Bend your left knee to shift your weight into your left heel.
- Flex your right ankle to point your toes toward the sky as you lengthen this leg.
- Hands can rest on the ground or come together at your heart space.
Hold for 5 – 10 breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Come back into Twisted Lunge on each side before taking savasana.
Build Strengthen and Stability in your knees with this sequence.
Knee pain can hold us back from our practice (believe me, I know!) but be gentle, be patient, and be compassionate with yourself. Unfortunately, it’s not going to disappear overnight but keep coming back. Creating stability can help soothe it and even prevent it in the future.
If you enjoyed these poses to build strong, stable knees, I encourage you to keep practicing this sequence. Come back to it, which is based on one of the classes in our On-Demand Membership, and try to weave these poses into your yoga practice.
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