The Best Way to Protect Your Joints in Yoga
This article originally appeared on Yoganonymous.com.
Do you have bad knees and joint pains? If so, you’re not alone.
According to this article published by the Livestrong Foundation, 15% of sports injuries are knee related. This study was conducted by the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine, and this percentage does not include people who suffer from chronic knee pain—so chances are, if you aren’t injured, but do experience joint pain, this topic might apply to you, too.
The Livestrong article goes on to state that knee pain is typically caused by overly tight muscles surrounding the knees—so solutions to heal the pain include stretching and strengthening muscles surrounding the knee in order to protect the knee joint. But what if you’re not a fan of typical workout and stretching styles? You can turn to yoga.
Marlynn Wei, a Harvard-Trained Psychiatrist and Certified Yoga Instructor, sat down with Huffington Post to give them a guide on “7 Ways to Protect Your Joints in Yoga.” Marlynn’s background gives her the perfect platform to speak about yoga from a practical point of view, and she has helped bring larger attention to the yoga practice in her work, “The Harvard Medical School Guide to Yoga.” In her article for the Huffington Post, she gives practical ways to protect your joints during your practice, including tips on how to protect your knees.
It turns out that yoga poses such as Warrior I, Warrior II, and High Crescent Lunge all place your ACL“at risk of injury,” making it important for you to protect the joint by placing your knee in a 90 degree angle. When you do this, your knee should be vertically in line with your ankle, so that your weight goes into your foot, rather than into your knee joint.
Wei goes on to suggest that it’s best to not put direct pressure on your knees, and to treat them gently by placing a padded cushion underneath your knee in Low Lunge, and to avoid placing your foot on your knee joint during tree pose.
If this topic interests you, Wei also gives practical tips on how to protect your wrists, shoulders, elbows, and hip joints. Use these tips to keep your flow in a place of healthy balance, so that you never have to skip a calss because of the pain from an injury.