Benefits of Yoga for Knees
Benefits of Yoga for Knees
6 or so years ago, if you asked an athlete if they incorporate yoga into their training, you’d probably get a solid no, or even worse, “what?!” Nowadays, athletes are realizing the importance of yoga as a vital aspect into prolonging their athletic career because of the benefits yoga provides not only for your knees, but for your entire body. Thanks to my girlfriend – at the time – she kept bugging me about coming in to do Bikram yoga with her.
Bikram yoga is just like hot yoga, but hotter… much hotter. The temperature must be at least 105, where as hot yoga can be any temperature depending on the yoga instructor. Let me tell you… before I tried Bikram yoga, I was in the greatest shape of my life as an athlete just fully recovering from my first knee surgery. My girlfriend already had an extra mat and water for me, so the only thing I needed to bring was my shorts and shirt. When I walked in, the receptionist ask if this was my first time and understood that I’m an athlete. She told me not to push myself so hard right off the bat because this is really tough stuff. I laughed inside my head, acknowledged her advice, and proceeded to walk in. Immediately, I noticed the heat and noticed that all the men in there were wearing board shorts and nothing else. I didn’t think much of it until 10 minutes in and I’m sweating donkey balls. After an extra 35 minutes of looking at other people trying to copy their moves that I have no idea how to do, the instructor tells everyone to lay in savasana – essentially, good morning pose.
Ahhh…what a relief. I look at my girlfriend and whisper to her,”we’re done, right?” With a synical smirk on her face as if she were getting a dirty pleasure out’ve my pain she replies, “we’re only half way.” What.the.f*ck? Are you kidding? I wanted to shoot myself. Bikram yoga is 1.5 hours of stretching in a scorching 105 degree hot room, at the busiest time with about 50 people crammed next to each other.
After about 10 minutes of savasana, we went right back at the poses and continued on. as much as I wanted to kill myself, it did get easier as I knew that the end was near. After the next 45 minutes of stretching in hell, my favorite position came, savasana. That was it, I had finished my first bikram yoga. The feeling of walking out of the building is, hands down, the greatest part after – unless you have sex too, which is great, but let’s stay on track.
After my first yoga session, my knees, along with my body, felt very flexible and elastic – which is a good thing. Once I got home, I went straight for the ice packs and wrapped my knees with ice for 20 minutes. My knees’ felt better and better after making yoga a twice-a-week routine.
How does yoga benefit my knees?
Yoga has been proven to benefit your body unlike any other form of exercise. In many ways the therapeutic behavior restores the balance throughout the body focusing on not only the mind, but also the joints and the muscles surrounding them. It is often very obvious whether or not you are helping or hurting the chances of allowing the knee to heal fully. Pain would be the most obvious. Inflammation can also occur as the synovial fluid in the joints starts to increase in production.
What exactly is synovial fluid? How does it affect the functioning of my knee?
Synovial Fluid is like the oil to the squeaky hinge on the door, it allows for the joints to move painlessly rather than making the bones rub against each other. The fluid then allows for there to be lubrication between the cartilage that is placed at the end of the connecting bones. More importantly, the fluid provides nutrients and oxygen to the cartilage that it could otherwise not receive. At any given time movement of the joints allows for the synovial fluid to be regulated leading to the health of the cartilage. So, let’s delve into the benefits of yoga for knees.
How do I ensure that yoga benefits my knees?
There are many solutions to staying injury free. The first is ask for suggestions from one that may teach yoga for positions that help you focus on joint strengthening. If you feel any type of pain near the joints it is important that you make the correct adjustments to prevent an injury. Try a different pose and work around that area. Stretching, knowing your limitations, and awareness of movement are all important in your success.
Isn’t yoga for women? Im not flexible at all how can this help me?
Athletes such as Joe Johnson, Blake Griffin, Lebron James, Shaun O’hara just to name a few use yoga as a therapy for their mind body and soul. It’s now becoming popular with the players who are coming out of college into the big leagues. Yoga creates longevity in their careers and because of that it is continuously being introduced on a larger platform. Now that you have a better understanding of the benefits of yoga for knees, let’s review some key points before I let you go.
Yoga for knees recap:
- Yoga helps strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee joint.
- Synovial fluid is key to keeping healthy functioning in the knee.
- Use yoga to your advantage and don’t allow yourself to overextend or overstretch.
- Yoga allows your mind and body to revitalize itself to be in unison during a healthy knee recovery.