Yoga Postures That Are Bad for Knees

by Alena Bowers

About Alena Bowers

Alena Bowers began writing professionally in 2001 and is author of the book, "Alter This!" by Lark Books. She is an educator, yoga instructor and healing arts professional living in Portland, Ore. Bowers holds a Master of Education in visual art from Portland State University.

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Yoga can be particularly hard on the knees, according to "Yoga Journal." Many poses require the knees to be flexible -- other poses can bear much weight onto your delicate knees. If you have a knee injury or sensitivity, a yoga class can prove challenging. It is important to be aware of which poses are difficult for knees as well as some that can help strengthen them without causing distress.

Lotus Pose

"Yoga Journal" shares that knee injury can happen easily in certain poses if they are not properly stretched out or not ready for that pose. Lotus Pose, where you sit cross-legged style on the floor with both feet tucked atop the inner thighs is such a pose where injury can take place. It is an advanced pose and should not be tried until you are certain of your ability.

Hero Pose

Hero Pose is another asana, or yoga posture, that should be done with care if you have sensitive knees. It is done by simply sitting on your heels with the bottom of your legs tucked under. It provides a deep stretch for the tops of your feet and legs. An advanced take on this posture is to recline your upper torso behind you so that your elbows touch the ground. Eventually your whole back will be on the ground with enough practice. But this pose can cause deep injury to your knees if the body is not open.

Building Strength in the Legs

"Yoga Journal" further shares that knee weakness is not uncommon. Nearly 21 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis in the knees, where cartilage slowly decays. Certain postures can be healing and strengthening for the knees, however. It is important to build strength in the inner and outer quadriceps, which will help provide stability for your knee. When the leg muscles are strong, it helps keep the knees in alignment and from bearing too much weight.

Considerations

Certain postures can help build strength such as Triangle Pose, Mountain Pose, or sitting in a cross legged position while bending forward, notes Yoga Wiz. There are some rules of thumb to protect your knees as well. Avoid hyperextending the knee and execute proper alignment in yoga class, which means starting with your feet. Make sure your feet are strong and bearing sufficient weight. Don't be afraid to use props to support your knees -- such as blocks or straps.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.