Looking after you knees on the yoga mat


The structure of the knee joint makes it more vulnerable to acute injuries involving ligaments, tendons and cartilage. Here are some tips on looking after your knees on the mat:


1. Never force yourself into a yoga posture. If you meet resistance then you need to investigate the underlying issue before attempting to push deeper into a pose.


2. Never ever push into pain and be aware of other ways joint discomfort can present in a posture such as experiencing a heat, numbness or a pinching sensation.


3. Knee injuries are not always acute and can build up over several weeks, months or years of practising poor alignment in a posture. If you are not sure if you are in a safe alignment then ask your yoga teacher for feedback.


4. The knee is most vulnerable to injury when it is in a flexed and rotated position. Start to familiarise yourself with postures which can place your knee in this position:



5. Lose the ego – sometimes you will never get further into a posture due to the shape and make up of your bones. Forcing yourself further when you have met resistance will not deepen the pose but it will lead to an injury. Practise Niyama two, Santosha (contentment) and accept the moment as complete. 


6. Remind yourself what the asana practice is about – performing the asanas is not about achieving idealised linear shapes but about getting the body stronger and working on the self in terms of understanding and self-acceptance. 



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