Written by 9:39 am Yoga, BLOG

Yoga For Knee Pain: 15 Best Poses To Ease Your Knee Pain

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Knee pain can be a persistent and challenging issue for many people, impacting our daily lives in unexpected ways. It’s a discomfort that can stem from various causes, such as injuries, arthritis, or overuse.

However, the good news is that there’s a natural and gentle way to alleviate this pain: Yoga for Knee Pain.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore how practicing yoga poses for knee pain can be a transformative solution for those struggling with knee discomfort.

Through a series of carefully selected yoga poses, we’ll guide you on a journey to enhance the flexibility and strength of your knees while soothing that nagging pain.

Yoga for knee pain offers more than just physical relief; it also helps create a deeper mind-body connection that can positively influence how you perceive and manage pain.

So, if you’re looking for a holistic approach to ease your knee pain and regain your mobility, keep reading, as we introduce you to a world of healing through yoga.

Understanding Knee Pain

Yoga For Knee Pain

To tackle the challenge of managing knee pain effectively, we must first understand the mechanics of this complex joint.

The knee, a hinge joint connecting the thigh bone (femur) and shin bone (tibia), is susceptible to various issues, including injuries and conditions like arthritis.

Knowing the anatomy and the root causes of knee pain is crucial for making informed decisions regarding its treatment. When you’re aware of what’s happening inside your knee, it becomes easier to appreciate why Yoga for Knee Pain is such a powerful tool.

From torn ligaments to worn-out cartilage, knee problems can be diverse and debilitating.

Yet, by exploring these issues and their effects, we can better appreciate how gentle yoga poses for knee pain, designed to improve flexibility, strength, and balance, can be a game-changer for those seeking to alleviate knee pain and enhance their overall quality of life.

So, let’s embark on this journey of understanding the yoga poses for knee pain, we’ll pave the way for more comfortable and pain-free days ahead.

Preparing For Your Yoga Practice

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Before diving into your Yoga for Knee Pain journey, it’s essential to set yourself up for a safe and effective practice.

Yoga can be a wonderful remedy, but it’s crucial to take some precautions, especially if you’re dealing with knee discomfort.

Start by finding a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted. Having the right equipment can make a world of difference – invest in a good quality yoga mat that provides ample cushioning and stability.

Comfortable, breathable clothing is key, as it ensures unrestricted movement. Now, when you’re ready to begin, consider these safety guidelines.

First, consult with a healthcare professional if you have serious knee issues to get tailored advice.

Using props like yoga blocks or straps can be immensely helpful in modifying poses and making them accessible to you.

Remember that the goal is not to force your body into shapes, but to find the right balance between challenge and comfort.

Lastly, always listen to your body; if a pose feels painful or uncomfortable, ease off or skip it.

Yoga is about progress, not perfection, and with these preparations, you’ll be well on your way to managing knee pain through your practice.

Yoga For Knee Pain: 15 Poses To Provide Relief

We’ve got a treasure trove of yoga poses for knee pain specially curated for people with arthritis. These poses are like little soothing agents for your knees, helping you gently stretch and strengthen the area without causing extra strain.

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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Child’s Pose is one of the most soothing and gentle yoga poses for knee pain relief. This restful posture allows you to release tension and stretch the lower back, hips, and thighs, making it an ideal addition to your yoga for knee pain routine. 

This pose is especially beneficial for individuals dealing with knee discomfort as it minimizes weight-bearing on the knees, making it a perfect starting point for your yoga journey towards knee pain relief.

To Perform It:

  • Begin in a kneeling position with your big toes touching and knees hip-width apart.
  • Gently sit back on your heels and extend your arms forward on the mat.
  • Lower your forehead to the ground, relaxing your neck.
  • Ensure that your toes are pointing backward and your hips are sinking toward your heels.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Focus on relaxing and stretching the lower back, hips, and thighs without straining your knees.
  • To come out of the pose, press your palms into the mat and slowly rise back to a kneeling position.

Cat-Cow Stretch (Marjaryasana-Bitilasana)

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The Cat-Cow Stretch is a dynamic duo of poses that provides excellent support for those seeking yoga for knee pain.

The fluid motion of this sequence helps warm up the spine, improving flexibility, and alleviating knee discomfort by increasing circulation and mobility in the knees and the surrounding muscles and ligaments. 

To Perform It:

  • Start in a tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Inhale as you arch your back, dropping your belly toward the ground, and lifting your head and tailbone (Cow Pose).
  • Exhale as you round your spine, tuck your chin to your chest, and tuck your pelvis under (Cat Pose).
  • Continue to flow between these two poses with your breath, inhaling for Cow and exhaling for Cat.
  • Perform this fluid motion for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Focus on the gentle movement of your spine and the reduction of tension in your knees.
  • Finish by returning to a neutral tabletop position.

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

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Warrior II is a fundamental yoga pose for knee pain that not only enhances lower body strength and stability but also supports the knees by promoting proper alignment and balance.

As part of your yoga for knee pain routine, Warrior II can help improve your overall lower body strength and alignment, making it a powerful tool in the fight against knee discomfort.

To Perform It:

  • Start in a standing position with your feet about 3-4 feet apart, one foot facing forward and the other turned to the side.
  • Bend your front knee to a 90-degree angle and extend your arms parallel to the ground.
  • Ensure that your front heel is aligned with your back arch and your knee is directly over your ankle.
  • Keep your hips facing the side, and gaze over your front hand.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing deeply.
  • Focus on strengthening your legs and promoting proper knee alignment.
  • To exit the pose, straighten your front leg and bring your arms back to your sides.

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

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Bridge Pose is a versatile yoga pose for knee pain relief that combines strengthening and stretching to target the entire lower body.

By lifting your hips off the ground while keeping your feet and arms grounded, this pose engages the hamstrings, glutes, and quadriceps, promoting muscular balance and reducing strain on the knee joints.

In your yoga for knee pain practice, the Bridge Pose can be a valuable component for building strength, stability, and promoting proper knee alignment.

To Perform It:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart, close to your buttocks.
  • Place your arms by your sides, palms facing down.
  • Inhale and press through your feet and palms to lift your hips and lower back off the ground.
  • Keep your thighs and feet parallel and engage your glutes and core.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Focus on strengthening the hamstrings, glutes, and promoting knee stability.
  • To release, exhale as you slowly lower your spine back to the mat.

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

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Chair Pose is a challenging yet effective yoga pose for knee pain that targets the quadriceps and glutes while promoting proper knee alignment.

By simulating the act of sitting in an imaginary chair and extending the arms overhead, this pose actively engages the leg muscles without overburdening the knees.

It is particularly beneficial for those seeking to strengthen the quadriceps, which play a crucial role in knee joint stability.

Incorporating Chair Pose into your yoga for knee pain routine can help build strength in the muscles supporting your knees and improve overall lower body alignment, making it an essential tool in your journey towards knee pain relief.

To Perform It:

  • Stand with your feet together, toes touching, and arms by your sides.
  • Inhale and raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other.
  • Exhale and bend your knees, as if sitting back into an imaginary chair.
  • Keep your knees aligned with your ankles and your weight in your heels.
  • Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, breathing steadily.
  • Focus on engaging your quadriceps and improving knee alignment.
  • To exit, inhale and straighten your legs, lowering your arms to your sides.

Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)

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Triangle Pose is a classic yoga pose for knee pain that offers a full-body stretch and promotes flexibility while minimizing stress on the knees.

The elongated stance helps to stretch and strengthen the hamstrings and quadriceps while allowing the knee joints to remain supported and not overextended.

By engaging the core and keeping the alignment correct, you can protect your knees while improving your lower body’s strength and flexibility.

Including Triangle Pose in your yoga for knee pain routine can be immensely beneficial in reducing discomfort and increasing overall knee health.

To Perform It:

  • Start in a wide-legged stance, with one foot pointing forward and the other turned to the side.
  • Extend your arms to the sides, keeping them parallel to the ground.
  • Shift your hips to the side and bend at the waist toward the extended leg.
  • Place your hand on your shin, ankle, or the floor while extending the other arm toward the ceiling.
  • Keep both legs straight but not locked and gaze up at your raised hand.
  • Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each side.
  • Focus on the stretch in your hamstrings and thighs while maintaining knee support.
  • To release, engage your core and slowly return to a standing position.

Extended Puppy Pose (Uttana Shishosana)

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Extended Puppy Pose, also known as Puppy Dog Stretch, is a gentle yoga pose for knee pain that provides a deep stretch for the spine, shoulders, and chest while promoting relaxation.

The gentle stretch in the hips and thighs, combined with the shoulder and chest opening, offers a sense of release and relaxation to the knees, making it an excellent addition to your yoga for knee pain practice.

This pose encourages proper knee alignment and can help relieve discomfort caused by muscular imbalances and tension in the lower body.

To Perform It:

  • Begin in a tabletop position with your wrists under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Walk your hands forward while keeping your hips above your knees.
  • Lower your chest toward the ground and relax your forehead.
  • Keep your arms active and your elbows slightly lifted.
  • Breathe deeply and hold for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  • Focus on the gentle stretch in your hips, thighs, and shoulders while promoting knee relaxation.
  • To exit, walk your hands back towards your body and return to a tabletop position.

Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)

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Among the beneficial yoga poses for knee pain, Vrikshasana, or Tree Pose, stands out for its capacity to improve balance and strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint.

This posture enhances the flexibility and strength of the knees while also promoting better posture, relieving knee pain often caused by muscular imbalances or misalignment.

Regular practice of Vrikshasana, combined with deep breathing, can be a soothing remedy within your yoga for knee pain routine.

To Perform It:

  • Begin in a standing position, with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides.
  • Shift your weight onto one leg while keeping the other foot rooted on the floor for balance.
  • Gently lift the non-weight-bearing foot and place it against your standing leg, either above or below the knee, avoiding the knee joint.
  • Bring your hands to your chest in a prayer position or extend them overhead for an extra challenge.
  • Focus on a steady gaze, a fixed point in front of you, to enhance your balance.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, ensuring you maintain proper alignment.
  • Slowly release the pose by lowering the lifted leg and returning to a standing position.

Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)

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As part of your yoga for knee pain regimen, Virabhadrasana III, or Warrior III, is a powerful pose for strengthening the muscles surrounding the knees and enhancing balance.

Warrior III not only helps to stabilize the knee joint but also tones the quadriceps and hamstrings, making it an excellent choice for those looking to alleviate knee discomfort while building strength and stability.

To Perform It:

  • Start in a standing position at the top of your mat, with your feet hip-width apart and arms by your sides.
  • Shift your weight onto one leg, engaging the core for stability.
  • Begin to lift the non-weight-bearing leg while simultaneously tilting your upper body forward, creating a ‘T’ shape with your body.
  • Keep your extended leg, torso, and arms in a straight line, parallel to the floor.
  • Engage your core and maintain a steady gaze to aid balance.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose for 20-30 seconds.
  • Gently lower the lifted leg and return to a standing position.

Supine Hand-To-Big-Toe Pose (Supta Padangusthasana)

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In your quest for relief through yoga poses for knee pain, Supta Padangusthasana, the Supine Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, offers a gentle yet effective stretch to ease knee discomfort.

It’s particularly beneficial for those dealing with tightness in the back of the legs, which can contribute to knee pain.

By practicing Supta Padangusthasana regularly, you can alleviate tension in the knee area and gradually improve your knee’s range of motion.

To Perform It:

  • Lie on your back with both legs extended.
  • Bend one knee and bring it towards your chest.
  • Use a strap or your hands to clasp the big toe of the lifted leg.
  • Straighten the raised leg as much as comfortably possible, keeping the other leg on the floor.
  • Gently pull the leg toward your chest while keeping your back on the ground.
  • Maintain steady, deep breaths and hold for 20-30 seconds on each leg.
  • Release the leg, switch sides, and repeat the stretch.

Reclining Knee-To-Chest Pose (Apanasana)

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As an integral part of your yoga for knee pain routine, Apanasana, or Reclining Knee-to-Chest Pose, provides a soothing stretch for the knee and hip flexors.

Apanasana is particularly helpful for individuals experiencing stiffness in the knee region due to prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity.

This pose can be a comforting addition to your practice, aiding in knee pain relief and overall mobility.

To Perform It:

  • Begin by lying on your back with your legs extended.
  • Bend both knees and draw them towards your chest.
  • Clasp your shins or knees with your hands.
  • Gently pull your knees closer to your chest while keeping your lower back on the ground.
  • Hold for 20-30 seconds while breathing deeply.
  • Release your knees and extend your legs back to the floor.
  • Repeat as desired for a comfortable stretch.

Supine Pigeon Pose (Supta Kapotasana)

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For individuals seeking yoga poses for knee pain, Supta Kapotasana, or Supine Pigeon Pose, offers a gentle yet effective way to alleviate tension in the hips and knees.

This reclined variation of the classic Pigeon Pose allows you to open the hip flexors and stretch the outer hip muscles without straining the knees.

To Perform It:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended.
  • Bend one knee and place the ankle of that leg on the opposite thigh, just above the knee.
  • Gently draw the other knee toward your chest, threading your arms through the space between your legs.
  • Hold behind your thigh or shin to deepen the stretch.
  • Keep your head and shoulders relaxed on the mat.
  • Breathe deeply and hold for 20-30 seconds on each leg.
  • Release the stretch, switch sides, and repeat.

Legs Up The Wall Pose (Viparita Karani)

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Viparita Karani, or Legs Up the Wall Pose, is a highly restorative posture that not only promotes relaxation but can also alleviate knee pain and swelling.

This pose is particularly helpful for those dealing with arthritic knee pain or mild discomfort caused by fluid retention.

Regular practice of Viparita Karani can provide a sense of relief within your yoga for knee pain practice.

To Perform It:

  • Sit sideways next to a wall, with your hips as close to the wall as possible.
  • Swing your legs up the wall while lying on your back.
  • Adjust your position until your buttocks are against the wall, and your legs are resting vertically.
  • Keep your arms relaxed by your sides.
  • Close your eyes and breathe deeply.
  • Hold the pose for 5-10 minutes, or as long as comfortable.
  • To release, gently roll to one side and push yourself up to a seated position.

Supported Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana With Props)

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In the pursuit of knee pain relief through yoga, setu bandha sarvangasana, or bridge pose, with the support of props, can be a game-changer.

This modified bridge pose promotes the alignment of the knee joint while providing a comfortable stretch for the entire leg. 

To Perform It:

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • Place props like yoga blocks or a bolster under your sacrum (the flat bone at the base of your spine).
  • Keep your arms relaxed by your sides.
  • Lift your hips and pelvis off the floor to create a gentle arch, resting on the props.
  • Breathe deeply and relax in the supported position for 1-2 minutes.
  • Lower your hips and remove the props.
  • Gently roll onto your side and come to a seated position.

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

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Savasana, or Corpse Pose, is an essential element in any yoga practice, especially when focusing on yoga for knee pain.

After your yoga session, it offers a chance to relax and integrate the benefits of your practice.

It is a powerful tool for promoting overall wellness and may indirectly help with knee pain management by fostering a calm, peaceful state of mind, reducing the mental and emotional aspects of discomfort.

To Perform It:

  • Lie on your back with your legs extended and arms by your sides, palms facing up.
  • Allow your feet to fall open naturally, and close your eyes.
  • Focus on relaxing each part of your body, starting from your toes and working your way up to your head.
  • Breathe deeply, focusing on your breath and releasing any tension.
  • Remain in this relaxed state for 5-10 minutes or longer if desired.
  • When ready to exit the pose, gently wiggle your fingers and toes, and roll to one side.
  • Slowly sit up to a seated position, taking a moment to savor the sense of calm and relaxation.

Wrapping Up

In the grand scheme of things, yoga for knee pain is like a secret weapon. It’s a gentle, yet incredibly effective way to bid farewell to that nagging discomfort. 

With these 15 yoga poses for knee pain in your toolkit, you’re not just addressing the symptoms; you’re working on long-term knee health. 

So, why let knee pain hold you back when you have yoga by your side? Start your practice today, and let the soothing rhythm of yoga take you on a journey to a life where knee pain becomes a distant memory. 

Your knees deserve the love, and yoga is your ticket to giving them just that. 

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