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robert

Chair pose knee pain?

6 posts in this topic

Have been having troubble with knee pain whenever I do chair, and have generally been avoiding it in my practice. For instance I modify the B sun salutation by swapping tadasana -> chair -> uttanasana, with the first 3 poses of the A salutation.

 

I've been doing some reserch and the often mentioned thing is pulling the knees back, i.e.  http://yogadoctors.com/how-yogis-made-chair-pose-dangerous

 

Howeaver I still get knee pain, any other options? Or should I continue avoiding it?

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Yep, gonna echo what Larry says and avoid. But! I'm interested in hearing more about the pain. When exactly do you feel it? Every time you bend your legs or only in chair pose? How is your weight distributed in your feet when you're in chair? When you're in the pose, can you look down and see your toes? (You should be able to.) I'm wondering if maybe your weight is too much in the front of the foot/toes, therefore bringing your knees almost in line w your toes which yeah, ouch! Watch the sway of the low back, too, try to keep a neutral spine. While that might not seem like the back has anything to do with the knees, everything is connected. Then, once you're in the pose, squeeze legs together, and ground down firmly though the feet but then feel the sensation of a lift in from the hips up, if that makes any sense - as if you have two opposing lines of energy.

 

So to recap - def avoid the second you feel pain, but evaluate where the pain is coming from. If it's just bad joints then leave the pose for a while. If your knees don't otherwise cause pain, might be worth it to look into how you're practicing the pose.  :)

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Thanks both -

 

Candace, I used to get knee pain when doing forward folds as I have to bend my knees in these, however using blocks and transferring a lot of the weight onto my hands solved that one. Down-dog with bend knees does not cause a problem due to the distributed load.

 

How much of the toes should you be able to see? I can move my centre of gravity back as suggested, but I am then on the edge of falling backwards. And my knees start to twinge, although more delayed.

 

Could it have something to do with me having to bend my knees in a large number of poses, putting more load on the knees?

 

I'll experiment more with it.

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I can't say for sure if it has something to do with you having to bend the knees in a large number of poses but my inclination is to say no because in certain poses (forward fold, downward dog) the bent knee is to help relieve tight hamstrings. In standing, balancing poses, the bent knee is to provide a little support for the standing leg's hip flexor. But I just did chair pose and can see all my toes and half my foot. I had Greg do it - he's not as flexible - and he can see the first few toes. If you're not able to see your toes, that means you're putting a lot of weight toward the front of the foot and the knee is coming way, way in front of the toes which we don't want (not good for the knees!). So see what happens if you sit back in the pose and put most of the weight toward the back of the feet. If you're still not sure, you're welcome to post a photo of your chair pose because I really feel that something might be off in the alignment and if I could see it, I might be able to help. :) No worries if you'd rather not! Either way, you know what to do with all the info. 

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Maybe try the hands in prayer in front of the chest. That makes the pose a little easier. Easier to concentrate on getting the legs comfortable without being distracted by what is going on in the upper body. One breath in a pose or any amount of breaths is fine.

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