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?
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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, and 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 oftentimes 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 a challenging knee.
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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 , 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 than one burns in order to lose 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 lose weight.
Yoga will give you greater insights into 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 inevitably 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!