When you are first learning yoga, it is common to lock the knees in your standing postures. However, locking the knees in a standing posture can lead to knee problems later on. If you want to avoid locking the knees in a standing posture, you should use the “lengthen-extend-release” method to keep the knees relaxed and open. Most of the time, this method works well, but if you notice that the knees are still locking in the standing postures, try using your hands to keep the knees open.
Yoga is a deeply spiritual practice. If you’re a yogi, you might even consider it a form of prayer. For some people, the core purpose of a yoga class is to stretch and strengthen their bodies. But yogis also find deep meaning in their practice, and often use yoga to deepen their connection with the divine or to reach spiritual enlightenment.Whenever we perform asanas or any other physical movement, we should always keep our knees in mind. Putting extra pressure on them, twisting them or turning them in a way they are not designed for can cause serious damage to your knees.
Therefore, it is important to follow some safety tips when performing standing yoga poses. Read on, and let’s go through some of those memories.
Effects of knee lengthening
Before we go any further, let’s answer the question: What does it mean to lock your knees and why can it be dangerous?
When you lock the knee, you fully extend the knee and the weight rests on the knee joint, not the muscles. Knees are not designed for this kind of load and can damage the cartilage tissue of the knee in the long run.
Over time, cartilage can wear out and cause conditions such as osteoarthritis. In yoga, a knee block can also prevent you from enjoying the pose. So how do you prevent it?
Useful tips to protect your knees
- Pay attention to your natural inclination. Do you often block or overstretch your knees (when your leg moves beyond a straight line)? To be aware of your body and your knees while doing yoga, you can start by being aware of them throughout the day. Pay attention to how you stand and try to make your muscles work more by doing micro-flexions of the knees.
- You can practice with the leg muscles in Tadasana, the mountain pose. Find balance first by rocking back and forth, then try to use the arch of the foot, which makes it difficult to really lock the knees.
Keep the knees in Triconasana
Postures like Triconasana (triangle pose), where we stretch and shift our weight to the same leg, can be tough on the knees. The front leg is bent so that the knee automatically tilts to a fixed position. And when you tilt your upper body toward your front leg, the tendency to lock your knee becomes greater.
The next time you are in triangle pose, pay attention to the front knee and actively engage the muscles around the knee and hip. You need to brace yourself with your muscles instead of leaning on your knee joint.
To help, press on the ball of the foot, which will help release the knee. If you have your hand on your shin, make sure you don’t push down. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to hold a block next to your front leg and put your hand on the block instead of your shin.
A good rule of thumb here (for all yoga postures) is that your knee and toes should point in the same direction. This is a general rule of thumb to avoid twisting the knee or moving it in directions that should not be moved.
Avoid locking the knee in balancing positions
For standing and balanced postures like Vrkshasana (Tree Pose) or Ardha Chandrasana (Crescent Pose), you can start by practicing against a wall for extra support. Balancing with a blocked knee is usually easier, so try it with support first, as you feel, so the muscles are involved and the knee is micro-bent.
Again, focus on bow tension and foot lift. If your foot is fully on the ground, you have a better sense of balance, but your knee is probably locked.
What helps to protect your knees is to strengthen your leg muscles. Poses like Utkatasana (chair pose) or Warrior I and II are a great way to activate and strengthen the leg muscles. When your knees remain bent, your muscles are forced to work to maintain balance.
The stronger your leg muscles are, the better you can support yourself without hanging on to the knee joint.
During yoga, the knees can become very vulnerable. Fortunately, its damage can be easily avoided by carefully observing your body and your natural tendencies, and by keeping your mind in the body when practicing yoga.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I stop my knees from locking when I stand up?
Knees should not lock when standing up. If they do, you may have a condition called patellofemoral syndrome.
Why is it bad to lock your knees when standing?
Locking your knees when standing can cause a variety of problems, including: -Inability to bend your knees and squat down to pick something up. -Inability to walk or run properly. -Inability to jump or hop. -Inability to bend your knees and sit down. -Inability to kneel down for a prayer or other religious practice.
How do you get rid of locking knees?
Locking knees are a common problem for many people. It is caused by the muscles in your legs becoming tight and short, which causes your knees to lock when you walk or run. To get rid of locking knees, you need to stretch the muscles in your legs and hips.
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