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Yoga Poses That Can Harm Knees

Yoga’s many benefits include improved strength, flexibility,diabetes and stamina, as well as an increased sense of well-being and peace of mind. If you want to learn more about yoga, or are looking to take your practice to the next level, it’s important to know about the poses that can harm your knees if you do them improperly or without due care and attention. Below are some yoga poses that can pose dangers to the knees if not done properly and in moderation.

Downward Facing Dog Pose

This common yoga position can put a lot of pressure on your knees, especially if you’re not using proper form. If you practice downward facing dog, remember to lift up your heels and push into your hands rather than letting them rest on your wrists. Keeping heels down prevents over-extension of knee joints, which can lead to injury. When in downward facing dog pose, aim for bringing hips slightly lower than shoulders for maximum benefit. Also be sure to stretch after your yoga session; doing so will help reduce soreness and prevent injury.

Triangle Pose

This pose is considered difficult even for those with very flexible hips, so it can be extremely hard on knees. If you feel pain in your knees during or after practice, skip triangle—or do a modified version where one leg is outstretched instead of both. In general, standing poses are better than seated ones because they reduce pressure on your joints. If you like meditating, try Bhastrika breath; it requires minimal movement and provides an excellent stretch to your spine without stressing your knees too much. Instead of kneeling on blankets, place a block between your thighs and sit down with legs extended out in front of you.

Wide Stance Forward Bend Pose

This one can be hard on knee joints, so if you have any pain in your knees, avoid it. Although stretching is an important part of yoga practice and wide stance forward bend pose does help improve flexibility, it may be worth practicing other poses before attempting to bring your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Consult with a yoga teacher to see what poses might work best for you if you have knee pain. Stretching can sometimes cause more harm than good if done incorrectly, so learn as much as possible about proper stretching techniques before beginning a yoga practice.

Standing Splits

If you suffer from knee pain, it might be a good idea to skip practicing standing splits. While inversions like downward dog and headstands are beneficial for alleviating stress on your knees, poses like standing splits can put extra pressure on your knees while they’re bent—particularly if you’re a beginner. Head over to YouTube or search online for tips on learning how to make proper adjustments so that you don’t hurt yourself while practicing yoga. With just a few tweaks here and there, it’s likely that you’ll be able to modify most of these poses to make them more knee-friendly, but it’s better not to practice them at all if your knees really bother you.

Seated Forward Fold

While most yoga-goers know that backbends can cause damage to your spine, many people don’t realize that forward folds can stress or strain your knees. Seated forward folds and standing forward folds are common in yoga, but these poses put a lot of pressure on knees and can lead to injury if you practice them regularly. Forward bends take a lot of mobility out of your knee joints, which is not ideal for anyone who already has trouble walking, running or bending their legs. If you’re looking for a gentle stretch to ease into downward dog or warrior two, do it seated so you keep all that mobility in your knees.

Bridge Pose

A popular pose for backbends, plank, and lunges, bridge pose is also good for strengthening your glutes and core. However, if you have bad knees (or back pain), it might not be a good choice. The weight of your upper body puts pressure on your knee joint and can cause serious issues over time. If you are interested in performing a bridge pose (which is perfectly fine for most people), try it with one or both feet on a block to make it easier on your knees.

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