Iyengar sequence for deeper knee pain
This sequence is intended to open up and work deeper into stiff knees and take you deeper into a range of poses to help you get some good relief. We ‘work with intelligence’ to extend your capacity and explore if you can do a bit more beyond just taking care of the joints. We use a range of supports to ensure we don’t overextend whilst moving through a range of general level poses.
Step-by-step walk through
Start your knee session by lying back in simple cross leg, over a bolster. Place a folded belt behind each knee if they feel tight in this bent leg position.
Come up to sit in Dandasana, opening the backs of the knees towards the floor, and extending out into the heels.
Then stand, and bend forward in Uttanasana, placing a block between the upper thighs to
help align the work of the upper and lower legs, and to keep both legs working evenly.
Now you move into Adho Mukha Svanasana, downward facing dog pose, with both feet on lengthways blocks and taking the heels down and back to the wall.
A few standing poses to carefully work a bit more into the knees.
Place a chair against the wall, with the seat facing outwards, and standing on one straight leg, bend the other leg to 90 degrees, with the bent leg foot pressing evenly into the chair seat.
To the side: Standing with one leg straight under you, place your other foot onto the chair seat, with the knee bent to 90 degrees, facing out. See that the bent leg is positioned with the knee directly over the heel. Keep the knee turning to the the wall as you rotate the trunk to face forward.
And now try with both legs straight.
Standing on the left leg, place your right heel onto the back rest of the chair. Loop a belt around the ball of the foot and extend the spine up as you open the back of the lifted leg towards the floor.
Then do the same actions to the side, placing the uplifted leg heel onto the chair back, in line with the standing leg arch, and then extending into the heel and opening the back of the knee mindfully downwards to straighten the leg.
Continue with standing poses, placing the front foot to the wall for knee support and stability.
Start with Trikonasana, then move into Parsvakonasana, Virabhadrasana 1, Ardha Chandrasana, this pose with the back foot to the wall, and then turning to face the wall again for Parsvottonasana with blocks for the hands as needed.
Notice how the front leg draws back into the hip when the ball of the foot is placed against the wall this way.
Now for some sitting poses.
Start in Virasana, taking height for under the buttocks, this time placing a half fold blanket right up behind both knees to help open the backs of the knees evenly.
Then extend both the legs forward into Dandasana, to release any tension from the back of the knees.
Take a bolster or adequate support for the buttocks for Baddhakonasana, with the back up against the wall. Take two belts and fold a belt up behind each knee with the ends of the belt out to the sides. Now with the help of the belts roll the lower thighs, just above the knee, outwards. Then move the belt to just behind the knee and open the inner knee directly out to the sides.
Stay sitting on your bolster and extend the legs forward in Dandasana, opening the backs of the knees and calves towards the floor.
To finish, set up for “T” shape Setu Bandha. Tie three belts around the legs, one on the middle thighs, one on the lower thighs and one around the middle shin bones. This helps to bring the legs back to neutral and gives them support to be more restful.
Finally, slide the buttocks back onto the floor and go to Savasana, with the backs of the lower legs resting onto a chair seat to help rest the lower back and the knees while in Savasana.