Yoga therapy for the Knees


A few weeks ago, I ruptured my Anterior Cruciate Ligament while skiing. After two weeks I was told by my doctor that I could begin physiotherapy. I was desperate to move again, I was lucky to get an appointment with a very good physiotherapist, but I had to wait a few days until I could finally visit him. So, in the meantime, I went back to my books. Now more than ever I can see how lucky I am for practicing Anusara Yoga, because the alignment techniques are therapeutic techniques. I began very slowly to do a couple of exercises that I learnt,  and I quickly began to regain my mobility. I am back into squatting, doing the warrior poses, Trikonasana and a few more poses that I know will help my quadricep muscles to get the strength they had once.

My basic routine consist on

  • Cat/cow (with my knees placed on blankets)
  • Downward facing dog (making sure to activate the inner quads, by drawing the hills towards each other)
  • Surya Namaskar
  • Utkatasana (chair pose)
  • UttanasanaAnusara Yoga Klosterneuburg
  • Vrksasana (Tree pose)
  • Virabhadrasana II
  • Trikonasana with a block
  • Utthita Parsvakonasana
  • Lunges (from low lunge to high lunge)
  • From high lunge to Parsvottanasana
  • Virabhadrasana III with a chair
  • Dandasana with a rolled mat under the knee to work the inner quad muscles
  • Paripurna Navasana
  • Ardha Bhekasana (with a strap)
  • Baddha Konasana (with blankets or blocks under the knees)
  • Upavishta Konasana
  • Janu Sirsasana
  • Paschimottanasana
  • Supta Padangusthasana
  • Savasana

I had been doing this sequence for the last 2 weeks adding poses one at the time, and I can see already the results on my knee.

It has been 7 weeks already since I had the accident, I spent two weeks with a leg brace waiting for the result of the MRI, without moving or wearing any weight on the leg. So meditation, and mental engagement of my muscles were all I could do. But as soon as we had the results from the MRI and we saw (my doctor, my physiotherapist and I) that it was “only” the ACL ruptured, but all the other ligaments and the meniscus were fine, I began to move. After only 2 weeks of no movement I could not bend or straighten the knee, so the first task was to loose up and bring the movement back. So I began doing Dandasana to bring the extension back and I began to squat and do Utkatasana to bring the flexion back, even Tadasana was a really hard pose to do. I slowly began to add more asana poses and every week I checked with my physiotherapist if he agreed with what I was planning to add to my routine. It has been a hard work, it has been difficult to notice that poses like Agnistambhasana or a simple Childs’ pose are completely out of my reach, so meditation has been a really helpful place to go in moments of sadness to bring myself back to center.

I had been using the principles of alignment, I had been practicing to find again my center, to find again my balance, to find again my heart and let go of the expectations. Each day is different, each day is a new opportunity to grow, and that is exactly what I had been doing since I step into the beautiful world of Anusara Yoga.

If you have any questions about how I had been modifying any asana pose, do not hesitate to ask me. See you on the mat.

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