Your knees are affected by the leg muscles above and below the joint, so a variety of yoga poses -- from standing, seated and kneeling positions -- target these muscles. The poses help strengthen and stretch the muscles around the knee and help place the knee in a healthy position. Before you begin, speak with your doctor, especially if you have pre-existing knee pain. If a certain pose causes pain, stop or pull back from the posture.
Yoga helps increase the range of motion in your knees. Standing yoga postures such as Warrior I, Warrior II and Extended Triangle strengthen the muscles surrounding your knees. Your knee balance is improved with Tree and Lord of the Dance postures. Include these into your daily yoga practice to protect your delicate knee joint.
Seated postures help improve the range of motion in your knees and also in your hips, which benefits your knees. Begin with Easy pose as you focus your breathing and allow your knees to relax. Add Staff, Seated Forward Bend, Cross-Legged and Bound Angle poses to open your knees and increase flexibility.
If you have pre-existing knee discomfort, you may want to ease into the kneeling poses. If you feel more than muscle discomfort, adjust the poses to avoid increased pain. Try Hero pose, but if setting your hips on your heels is uncomfortable, remain in a kneeling position. Other kneeling postures such as Lion, Heron and Pigeon poses will offer relief and stretch the muscles surrounding your knees.
Lying face up or face down protects your knees as you stretch the joint. Prone postures such as Thread the Needle and Half Frog pose place you in a relaxing position. Supine positions such as Reclining Twist, Relaxation and Reclining Hero are nice ways to end your practice.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.