A sequence to nourish your knees

Watch this short video for an overview…and then read details below…The sequence takes about ten minutes to complete. Easy to do at home. Maybe before bedtime?

  1. Apanasana: to warm up low back without compressing knees
    • Lie on back with both knees bent toward chest and with feet off floor. Place each hand behind its respective knee.
    • On exhale: Pull thighs gently but progressively toward chest.
    • On inhale: Return to starting position.
    • Repeat eight times.
    • (Pull gently with arms, keeping shoulders down on floor and relaxed. Press low back into floor. Drop chin slightly toward throat. Progressively lengthen exhale with each repetition.)
  2. Supta Baddha Konasana: to strengthen musculature of inner thighs
    • Lie on back with knees bent and feet near buttocks. Open legs wide, bringing soles of feet together. Take up to 60 seconds to close knees together. Open legs again naturally.
    • Repeat six times.
    • (While closing legs, keep low back flat on floor. Allow any trembling of legs that may occur.)
  3. Dvipada Pitham: To strengthen musculature of hips and thighs
    • Lie on back with arms down at sides, knees bent, and feet on floor, slightly apart and comfortably close to buttocks.
    • On inhale, Keeping chin down, press down on feet and raise pelvis up toward ceiling, until neck is gently flattened on floor.
    • On exhale: Return to starting position.
    • Repeat six times.
    • (Lift vertebra by vertebra from bottom to top. Lower down exactly the opposite way.)
  4. Supta Eka Padangusthasana: To mobilize knee joint, and to stretch and strengthen surrounding musculature
    • Lie on back, with legs bent, left foot on floor, right foot lifted, hands holding right thigh behind right knee, and arms bent.
    • On inhale: Extend right leg upward, straightening arms.
    • On exhale: Return to starting position.
    • Repeat six times
    • (Flex foot as leg is raised. Keep knee slightly bent. Push low back and sacrum down. Keep chin down.)
  5. Ardha Salabhasana variation: To strengthen the musculature of the legs, particularly at the back of the knees
    • Lie on stomach, with head turned to left and with palms on floor by chest.
    • On inhale: Lift chest and left leg, turning head to center.
    • On exhale: Stay in position.
    • On inhale: Slowly bend left knee, bringing heel toward buttock.
    • On exhale: Return to starting position, turning head to right and straightening leg slowly.
    • Repeat four times each side, alternately.
    • Then stay up in position w both legs lifted and repeat 4 times.
    • (Move slowly.)
  6. Supta Padangusthasana: To stretch and relax lower back. To mobilize knee joint and to stretch and strengthen surrounding muscles.
    • Lie on back with legs bent, knees lifted toward chest, hands holding thighs behind knee and arms bent.
    • On inhale: Extend legs upward, straightening arms.
    • On exhale: Return to starting position.
    • Repeat six times
    • (Flex feet as legs are raised. Slightly ben knees. Push low back and sacrum down. Keep chin down.)
  7. Jathara Parivrtti: To stretch and strengthen muscles of hip and outside of thigh.
    • Lie flat on back, with arms out to sides and with left knee pulled up toward chest.
    • On exhale: Twist, bringing left knee toward floor on right side of body while turning head left.
    • On inhale: Return to starting position.
    • Repeat four times.
    • Then, from twisted position, lift knee up off floor several inches, keeping left hip vertically above right. Hold 5 seconds. Lower knee to floor.
    • Repeat four times.
    • Repeat other side.
  8. Repeat Apanasana
  9. Repeat Supta Baddha Konasana
  10. Repeat Dvipada Pitham
  11. Savasana (you earned it!)

Source: Yoga for Wellness by Gary Kraftsow

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