6 Yoga Poses For Knee Pain Relief And Strengthening

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Knee pain has become a common problem affecting more than four million Canadians alone. Knee pain can effect our daily life and range of motion. Some of the common are factors that contribute to cause pain in the knees are being overweight, knee injury, arthritis, inactive lifestyle, osteoporosis,  performing exercises incorrectly. It is a common misconception that knee pain occurs with aging but according to Dr. Gifford Jones knee pain is commonly experienced between the ages 20- 64.

Treatment varies based on the condition, however for all of the causes of knee pain mentioned above staying active will definitely relief knee pain. This does not mean being too active, anything in a limit is only beneficial. Because the surrounding muscles and tissues greatly impact the function of the knee hence it is very important to strengthen these muscles around the knees. For knee injury it is important to first consult with your doctor before performing any of these yoga poses for knee pain.

1. Tadasana (Mountain pose)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Stand with your shoulder straight and away from your ears.
  • Pull your abdomen in.
  • Raise your hands over your head and join them in a namaste position.
  • Reverse your hands so that your palms are now facing the sky and stretch it up.
  • Raise your heels above the floor, your body weight should now be on the balls of your feet.
  • Focus your concentration on a single point or object in front of you.
  • Hold the position with deep breaths for 30 seconds to one minute.
  • Exhale and gently release your hands and regain your feet on the floor.
  • Repeat this pose another two times.

2. Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Stand straight with your should blades wide apart and drawn away from the ears.
  • Spread your feet 3-4 feet apart from each other.
  • Turn your right toes pointing towards the right.
  • The left toes towards the right side to create a 45 degree angle.
  • Inhale and bring your arms to the side so that they are parallel to the floor.
  • Exhale and bend the right feet at 90 degree angle while making sure the knee does not overlap the ankle. (the shin should be perpendicular to the floor)
  • Look towards your right arm, if you feel any tension in your neck then look straight.
  • Hold the pose for 10 deep breaths.
  • Exhale and straighten your right feet.
  • Repeat the same steps on the left feet.

3. Utkatasana (Chair pose)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Stand straight, bring your feet together and make sure the big toes are touching each other.
  • Create about half inch space between the heels.
  • Spiral the top of your thighs inwards.
  • Keep your shoulder blades apart so that your chest is broad.
  • Tuck your pelvis in.
  • Inhale and raise both your hands up straight above your head with palms facing each other, (avoid any lifting of the shoulder blades, keep it drawn back)
  • Exhale and bend the knees, the butt will be protruding out. (Just like you sit in a chair)
  • Body weight should be on the thighs not the knees and make sure the knees are not overlapping the big toes.
  • Keep your tailbone pointing downward so that your spine straightens out.
  • Raise your head and look up towards your hands or ceiling. (don’t overarch or round your back)
  • Keep your neck nice and long.
  • Continue deep breathing comfortably while you hold the pose.
  • To exit from the pose, press on the feet stand up straight, lift your kneecaps and inhale.
  • As you exhale, bring your hands to the side.

4. Ardha chandrasana (Half moon pose)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Place your right leg 3-4 feet apart from the left leg.
  • Bend forward towards the right while placing all your body weight on the right leg and bend forward towards the right, lift the left leg.
  • Place both palms on the floor about 2 feet away from the right foot.
  • Stretch the left leg straight so that it is paralell to the floor.
  • Raise your left arm straight perpendicular to the floor.
  • Slowly look up to the left arm if you can or look straight.
  • Hold the pose for 5-6 breaths.
  • Gently lower the left leg on the floor exhale and stand up straight.
  • Repeat the same steps on the other side.

5. Uthita trikosana (Triangle pose)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Drag  your left foot 3-4 feet apart from your right foot to create a 90 degree angle.
  • Tuck the toes of your right feet towards the left side to create a 45 degree angle.
  • Stretch your arms straight sideways while keeping your shoulder relaxed downward.
  • Turn your head to the left side.
  • Bend towards the left and place your left palm behind and next to the left foot. (avoid locking your knee cap)
  • Look up your towards the right hand or if you feel tension in your neck then look straight.
  • Hold this position for ten deep breaths and release.
  • Repeat on the other foot.

Note: If you are finding it difficult to bend all the way and touch the floor then you could use a block instead.

6. Supta padangusthasana (Reclining big toe pose)

yoga poses for knee pain

  • Place both your feet straight pushing it against the wall.
  • Bend your left knee and draw it inwards
  • Place the strap around your feet.
  • Inhale and gently bring the left leg up straight.
  • Stretch the toes towards you, while keeping the left knee cap drawn back tight.
  • Keep the right knee cap tight pressed towards the floor.
  • Hold the position and take ten deep breaths.
  • Exhale and gently release the pose.
  • Repeat the same steps on the right foot.

I hope you found this post helpful for your knee pain. I love all types of feedback so please leave any comments or questions below and I will try my best to get back to you as soon as I can.

Best Regards

Ramandeep Kaur

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13 Comments

    1. Hello Tanya
      I hope your knee feels better after a replacement, but because you had a surgery it is best to consult a doctor first before adding these poses to your daily routine.
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

    2. Hello Tanya,
      If its fine with your doctor to perform light physical activities then you are good to go 🙂 Thank you for dropping by.
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

  1. I really needed this. Thanks for the demonstrations and for the information. I developed a bakers cyst in the back of my knee. Do you have any particular recommendations?

    1. Hello Kris
      Does the cyst cause pain, is it large or moderate size? what is the cause of it? Is it due to injury or arthritis. Yes these poses are great for healthy knees, I would say first consult with your doctor and have it diagnosed. I hope this helps 🙂
      Best Regards
      Raman

  2. Wow, amazing website about Yoga. So many great information in here! I am not very familiar with the name of each exercise but I remember practicing Yoga at younger age for sometimes. My experience is that it requires lots of flexibility and for beginners, it really hurt at first.
    I wrote an article about Yoga too but it is for weight loss: https://flamingsolutions.com/blogs/health/how-does-yoga-help-you-lose-weight
    You are welcome to check it out and leave your comment on my blog as well!
    Cheer:)

    1. Hello Kien
      That is a misunderstanding that yoga hurts at first in fact it is the most gentle form of activity. If it hurts then you might be doing it incorrectly. Don’t approach the poses that require flexibility as a beginner, as flexibility will come to you with time and practice. Also as a beginner, it is best to start with the most basic poses, you can take a look at my post on 10 basic poses https://yogawithraman.com/10-basic-yoga-positions-anybody-can-do-yoga , I would say you should definitely try them out and see how they work for you.
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

  3. I am so gonna try these! I used to be a runner, and I pushed it even when my knees began to hurt. Now I am paying for it in my right knee. I have arthritis in it, and it can be pretty painful. I have been researching ways to alleviate the pain because ibuprofen and other supplements have not worked for me at all. Glad I found this comprehensive post. Going to print it out and give these a try. Thank you!

    1. My mom has arthritis too and I know how difficult it can be to deal with the pain but it is not impossible, provided you have the right tools. She has controlled her pain too with yoga and sure you should definitely give these a try and let me know how it works for you 🙂
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

  4. Such a beautiful website. I love it. Everything is so organized and neat.
    I agree what you said, there can be many causes to joint pain. One of those causes for sure though is inflammation. Inflammation can manifest by unhealthy eating. To much meat can cause inflammation as well.
    Say…I just realized that the mountain pose you are doing is slightly different then the one I describe on my website. I have my gf posing for pics on the morning ritual Sun Salutations. I think I forgot to have her touch her fingers together over her head. Does it make a big difference if she just points her finger tips into the sky instead?

    1. Hello Drake
      Thank you for your wonderful compliment. No that is fine as well, they are variations for almost every pose. The one your girlfriend performed is another variation to the mountain pose.
      Best Regards
      Ramandeep

  5. BTW I think I meant “Upward Salute” but I could be wrong. Is there two types of Tadasana positions, or Mountain Poses? One with hands down and one with hands high up?

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