Beginner Yoga Advice: Benefits For Knee Joint Health and Weight Loss

16 Aug

I got a comment here on my blog and instead of simply writing him back I decided to give a video answer!

The question was all about knee health and whether or not yoga is good for weight loss.

I started a running program 3 weeks ago but only succeeded in aggravating a knee/patella (kneecap).  my running days are over as I’m in extreme pain.
what, if any are the benefits of yoga on knees and joints as well as weight loss?

Knee Health and Yoga

Let’s talk about the knees and joints, here’s what yoga does:

  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to remain stable
  • Yoga creates the ability for your joints to increase in stability
  • Yoga incorporates the muscles around the joints, increases their strength to create this stability within the joint.
  • Through proper alignment and action, yoga helps maintain optimal blood flow and proper lubrication within joints for more effective movement and overall health.

Due to anatomical/biomechanical issues in our bodies, either due to habitual patterns, injuries or genetics certain joints may become more prone to injury. The knee joint is a highly movable joint that often times gets easily aggravated and misaligned. Through proper alignment and action within yoga postures one is able to create the possibility to strengthen, re-align and perhaps even heal an challenging knee.

Please remember that this is possible when one practices consistently, consciously and with a qualified teacher to guide the student to become more adept at moving into their optimal blueprint. Any kind of knee therapy requires work and diligence.

The majority of public yoga classes are fast moving where focus on alignment is at times glossed over. If you are working with a knee injury, and are new to yoga, I would search to find the best qualified teacher to practice with, attend classes that have a slow pace and incorporate lots of optimal alignment and action within the poses.

Yoga and Weight Loss

As we all know, one needs to ingest less calories that one burns in order to loose weight. This is best achieved by doing aerobic exercise.

Yoga is not an aerobic exercise.

It can certainly get your heart beating fast. It will make you sweat. At times it you may even get out of breath. You certainly will massage and work your internal organs such as your heart and your lungs. You will burn calories. You will tone your muscles.

These are some pretty awesome benefits to the practice. Given those benefits having yoga be a part of your weight loss routine is key toward weight loss maintenance, but in and of itself, I don’t believe asana itself can make you loose weight.

Yoga will give you greater insights of your mind body and heart. Yoga will push you to places that may at times prove to be quite uncomfortable. Yoga will force you to make choices. Yoga will offer you new ways of seeing the world.

All of these things are great assets toward being a healthy human being, from the inside out. When you choose to practice yoga you will inevitable begin to make better and better choices for yourself, and one of those choices can be living within your optimal weight and being the best that you can be!

So there you go, those are my thoughts about knee joint benefits and weight loss from a yogic perspective!

What do you think? Do you have anything to add?


9 Responses to “Beginner Yoga Advice: Benefits For Knee Joint Health and Weight Loss”

  1. jim August 16, 2010 at 2:43 pm #

    Just had a look round the site very imformative.

  2. August 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    How can you lose weight is difficult, but a simple matter to young people. One of the dangers of being a teenager as contrary to the incessant influence and sometimes unhealthy drop in peer pressure.

  3. anjplanetyoga August 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm #

    Hi there. I’m so glad you posted something on the knees & yoga. Leeann Carey, an amazing yoga teacher, says that joint stability is crucial to practicing yoga. She has a free yoga video on this that I think your readers might like:

    • Elsie August 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm #

      Good stuff! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Megan Munday August 21, 2010 at 1:33 pm #

    Naturally, Elsie’s latest blog coordinates precisely with the latest information in my yoga teacher training emails. You are a delight, lady!

    • Elsie August 21, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

      Megan!!!!! I miss you!!!! The next audio yoga class that I hope to post has you in it 🙂 I was just thinking about you dear one. Come visit soon!

  5. Fred August 23, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    I never knew that yoga isn’t an aerobic exercise, that is certainly a revelation to me.

    • Elsie August 23, 2010 at 11:04 pm #

      Yoga can be an aerobic exercise but you would have to practice in a rhythmic manner for a continuos and long period of time. Usually yoga classes involve a bit of sustained rhythmic vinyasa which increases blood flow and oxygen, as well as holding postures for long periods of time, resting for some other times and finishing up with a series of cooling postures which are not aerobic nor anaerobic in nature.

      What this sort of practice does is strengthen your breathing capacity, increase optimal blood flow, plus offer your nervous system the opportunity to recognize what it’s like to truly ‘relax,’ which for must of us doesn’t even happen when we sleep!

      Thanks for stopping by!

  6. bhattathiri mulavana March 17, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and muti-problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen. May all beings be happy (Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu)

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