How to avoid locking the knees in standing yoga poses

With asana practice or with any other physical movement, we should always be mindful of the knees. Putting extra pressure on them, twisting, or turning them in any way they are not designed to may greatly damage them.

When doing yoga poses, it is important to remember to take a few safety precautions. Let’s read on to learn about some of these safety tips.

The Effects of Knee Locking

What does it mean to “lock your knees,” and why is this harmful?

Locking your knee means that you are fully extending the joint and putting the weight on it instead of the muscles. The knees were not designed to be under this kind of pressure. It can damage the cartilage over time.

Eventually, the cartilage will wear out, leading to conditions such as arthritis. Locking your knee can hinder yoga poses. How can you avoid it?

Keep Your Knees Healthy with These Tips

Notice your natural tendency. Do you lock your knees frequently, or do you hyperextend the knees? You can begin by being aware of your body, especially your knees, throughout the day. Try to bend your knees a little more and observe how you stand.

Tadasana (mountain pose) is a great place to practice using your leg muscles. You can start by finding your balance and rocking back and forth. Then, try to activate your arch, which is what makes it difficult to keep your knees locked.

Trikonasana: How to keep your knees safe

Trikonasana, Triangle Pose (where we stretch while bearing weight on the same foot), can be challenging for your knees. The knee is automatically locked into place when the front leg is at an angle. As you bend your torso toward the front leg, the tendency to lock the ankle becomes stronger.

The next time you do Triangle Pose, pay attention to the front leg and engage the muscles surrounding the knee and thigh. Support yourself by using your muscles, not the knee joint.

Pressing the ball of your foot will unlock the knee. Be careful when you hold your hand against the shin. If you want to avoid this, place a block near your front foot and rest your hand there instead of on your shin.

The knee and toes should always point in the same direction. This rule applies to all yoga poses and is important to prevent twisting the knee or moving it in directions it shouldn’t be.

Avoid locking the knee in Balancing Poses.

You can practice standing balancing poses like Vrksasana or Ardha Chandrasana Half Moon Pose on a wall for additional support. You will find it easier to balance with your knee locked. Try first to see how you feel with some support.

Focus on lifting the foot and engaging the arch. When the foot is flat on the ground, you’ll feel more balanced, but your knee will most likely be locked.

Strengthening the leg muscles helps protect the knees. Utkatasana or the Warrior I & II Poses are good poses for strengthening and engaging the leg muscles. The muscles are forced to work harder when the knees remain bent.

The stronger your leg muscles are, the more you can support yourself without relying on your knee joint.

Yoga can make your knees very vulnerable. By observing your body and your natural tendencies while practicing yoga, you can easily avoid damaging them.

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