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Beginners and their knees

JakeS2010-07-05 01:29:46 +0000 #1
I started practicing Yoga at home two months ago, and two weeks ago my left knee began feeling strange. I don't have any pain, but it feels different from the right. Not as solid maybe. The left knee also clicks a little especially on stairs.

So, I don't really know what is going on. If I had to guess, I would say that I think I over-stretched something behind my knee. I have been laying off the deep back-leg stretching of standing forward bends and downward facing dog, but it seems to be staying the same. So my concern is that I don't know how serious this is, or how best to fix it. Do I need to rest? Or strengthen? Or both? Has anyone experienced this or have any suggestions?


InnerAthlete2010-07-05 01:38:13 +0000 #2
Hi Jake.

I tend to be very direct in my replies. So there is no personal things here. I get that you are new to the practice but as a teacher I do not make a habit of tossing out false praise like "congratulations on finding yoga". But of course, congratulations on finding yoga

Experience, yes. Definitive answer based on what little you share, no.

When asking a therapeutic question it is best (for me) to be able to get to know the student. This is magnified by the fact we are dealing virtually over the Internet.

If you are one who hyper extends in the knee joint there would be some very specific actions for you to prevent such things in asana. If you are one who has very strong internal rotators and very weak external rotators, then it is possible you are collapsing in the knee in standing poses. Even in the student with very balanced action in the rotators it is still possible to miss the requisite actions to protect the knee joint.

If in lunging poses the knee is not properly aligned in two planes then you may be prone to knee issues.

If you are doing standing poses where both legs need to marry and work as one but you are doing said poses with the legs apart thus diminishing their composite strength and integrity, you may be prone to knee thingies.

If you are moving from Virasana to Baddha Konasana without first stabilizing the knee joint via contraction of the quadriceps you may be prone to knee issues.

If you are in virasana and the medial and lateral condyles of your knees are not equidistant from the floor you may be prone to knee thingies.

These are the ones that come to mind immediately.

It may also be possible you are enlisting more muscle fiber in your practice than ever before and the muscle attachments are get some work they've not had.

If it really concerns you then take class with a yoga teacher with a strong training and therapeutic experience.
stargurl842010-07-05 02:02:58 +0000 #3
the feeling of an unstable knee may also mean that the muscles around the knee (quads, calves, hams) aren't strong enough as well
Bridgette2010-07-05 02:20:11 +0000 #4
I had very similar issues. I found out when I started taking classes I was over extending my knees but also it was a culmination of my running and not stretching before hand (This creates tight calves and creates tension on the ligaments) and also my cycling (according to my doctor) had worn down the cartilage in my joints. This created the "clicking" I heard.

For the muscle tension I did a "head to knee forward bend" daily until the tension was released. It's tempting to push into a pose but this will increase the issue. "Downward dog" (with the help of blocks at first) is a great way to stretch the back of the leg as well.

For the "clicking" I take Glucosmine three times a day. It helped soooo much!

good luck!



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