The #1 Key to Healthy Knees: How to Strengthen (and Not Hurt) Your Knees in Yoga

Knee pain is quite common in the general population. Practicing yoga can either alleviate knee discomfort or it can sometimes aggravate it. It’s important that yoga teachers understand how to work with students’ knees in a way that either helps strengthen and stabilize the joints or at the very least, doesn’t aggravate an existing condition.

When a yoga student comes to you complaining of knee pain, the first thing you need to do is assess tracking. Tracking is a relative position between the hip joints, knee joints and ankles and is the result of both musculoskeletal conditions and movement patterns. Tracking is the most informative visual cue that we can use in working with knees, as knees usually end up on the receiving end of what’s going on above them (hips) and below them (ankles and feet).

Here are some general ideas on how we can work with knees in yoga:

diagram of knee problems in daily life and yoga poses to try and avoid

Want to avoid knee pain and maintain healthy knees in your yoga practice? Read these 7 practice tips from YogaUOnline and Olga Kabel: Yoga for Healthy Knees – 7 Keys to Keeping Your Knees Healthy and Safe.

Study with Olga Kabel and YogaUOnline: Avoiding Yoga Injuries – Common Alignment Mistakes in Forward Bends and Twists.

YogaUOnline course Avoiding Yoga Injuries: Common Alignment Mistakes in Forward Bends and Twists with Olga Kabel

This article is reprinted with permission from

YogaUOnline contributor Olga KabelEducated as a school teacher, Olga Kabel has been teaching yoga for over 14 years. She completed multiple Yoga Teacher Training Programs, but discovered the strongest connection to the Krishnamacharya/ T.K.V. Desikachar lineage. She had studied with Gary Kraftsow and American Viniyoga Institute (2004-2006) and received her Viniyoga Teacher diploma in July 2006 becoming an AVI-certified Yoga Therapist in April 2011. Olga is a founder and managing director of Sequence Wiz- a web-based yoga sequence builder that assists yoga teachers and yoga therapists in creating and organizing yoga practices. It also features simple, informational articles on how to sequence yoga practices for maximum effectiveness. Olga strongly believes in the healing power of this ancient discipline on every level: physical, psychological, and spiritual. She strives to make yoga practices accessible to students of any age, physical ability and medical history specializing in helping her students relieve muscle aches and pains, manage stress and anxiety, and develop mental focus.

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