Tag Archives: tips and tricks

How not to lock your knee

26 Mar

I’ve noticed lately that my knee gets quite sore from straight-legged poses like Intense Side Stretch. It didn’t occur to me that I might be locking my leg. I’m glad I saw YogaGypsy’s post “Yoga Tip Tuesdays: How to keep a straight leg without locking the knees.” Please read her full post, but here are just a few quick tips to get you started:

If your knee is locked in a balance pose, it means that the joint is holding the weight of the body, instead of the muscles.

If your knee is locked in a weight-bearing standing pose, for example triangle pose, the joint is again at risk, but in addition, because you are now stretching as well as bearing weight, the ligaments and tendons surrounding the knee joint are also at risk of taking the strain of the stretch, instead of the muscles.

In the pose you are working with, lift your toes – just your toes! – off the mat.You’ll find that it’s pretty much impossible to lock the knee while lifting the toes at the same time, because lifting the toes creates the muscular engagement, or “hugging in,” that brings the weight of the body into the muscles instead of the joint.

She also gives step-by-step instructions on isometrically engaging your leg muscles. Here’s the accompanying photo (but go read her post too!):

I learn something new everyday!

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