Written by 11:49 am Injury Prevention, Joint-friendly exercises

Yoga Poses for Joint-friendly Exercise and Knee Pain Relief


Yoga is a powerful form of exercise that benefits your body and mind. It can help you ease joint and knee pain too! Poses that are tailored to reduce joint pain, like those caused by arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis and osteoarthritis, are effective.

But it can be hard to know which poses are right for you. To make it easier, we’ve put together a list! This guide gives helpful tips on how to do each pose safely and with modifications, so all levels can get the benefits of a gentle yet effective yoga practice that can relieve joint discomfort and boost mobility.

Types of Joint-Friendly Exercises

Exercises that are friendly to your joints can help ease pain and improve flexibility. There are many exercises that can be beneficial, but we’ll focus on yoga poses. Here are some of the best poses for people with knee pain or other joint issues:

  • Mountain Pose
  • Chair Pose
  • Standing Forward Bend
  • Cobra Pose
  • Downward Facing Dog Pose
  • Child’s Pose

Low-Impact Exercise

Low-impact exercises are great for joint health. They reduce the chance of strain-related injuries. Examples of low-impact activities are cycling, swimming, water aerobics and strength training. Exercise bands, light weights and bodyweight exercises can also be used.

Moderate intensity aerobic activity is beneficial as it stimulates protective mechanisms in the body. But, it’s important to seek guidance from an instructor before starting a new routine. Incorrectly done or with too much intensity, even low-impact activities can lead to injury.


Yoga is a system of exercise that strengthens the body, boosts flexibility and reduces stress. It can also improve balance, posture, breathing and fitness. If you suffer from joint pain or knee pain, yoga is a great form of low-impact exercise.

The following poses may help alleviate discomfort and promote healing:

  • Balasana Pose (or Child Pose). This increases circulation in the legs and spine, stretches out the lower back, hips, legs, feet, ankles and chest. It also has a calming effect and relieves lower back tension.
  • Virabhadrasana I (or Warrior I Pose). This opens tight hips while strengthening thighs and glutes which can improve knee pain relief.
  • Parsvottonasana (or Intense Side Stretch Pose). This develops core strength, opens up hips, shoulders and chest. This can lead to stronger knees due to better alignment of the joints.
  • Vrikshasana (or Tree Pose). This pose is good for opening tight calves. It also focuses on core stability, which keeps your joints properly aligned when you stand up or sit down.

Yoga has many practices that can be adapted if you have joint inflammation. You can get ankle joint pain relief and strengthen other joints in your body.

Benefits of Yoga for Joints

Yoga is an awesome way to help reduce joint pain and tightness that comes with age, or conditions like arthritis. The poses are gentle and focus on flexibility, balance, and strength. Even if you don’t have joint pain, yoga can still be helpful for anyone looking to stay active while avoiding intense activity.

Let’s check out the advantages of yoga for your joints:

Improved Mobility

Yoga can be great for your joints! It can help with joint mobility and reduce stiffness. Plus, it can improve control of your movements. Balancing poses are included to improve static and dynamic balance.

Yoga combines stretching, strengthening, and improved range of motion with breathwork and mindful movement. It engages the hips, shoulders, spine, and lower extremities. Plus, poses like Downward Dog can stimulate top-down and bottom-up movement. Also, this pose helps with hip mobility by promoting better muscle memory and engagement in the hip socket.

By doing yoga, you can reduce the risk of injury. Plus, it is a low impact exercise compared to running or weight lifting. This makes it a great choice for those looking for gentle yet effective joint relief exercises.

Increased Flexibility

Yoga has great benefits, such as improved flexibility. Moving and stretching keep our joints healthy and less prone to injury. Yoga postures can bring relief from pain in the knees, shoulders, and hips.

Examples include: Cow Face Pose, Child’s Pose, Triangle Pose, and Bow Pose. When practicing yoga for joint pain, assess each position carefully. Use support and don’t overstretch. Warm up before each yoga session and start with gentle stretches, then build up intensity.

Strengthened Muscles

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise for those with joint pain. It is low-impact and helps to strengthen muscles without putting strain on joints. Muscle activation and stabilization exercises help to increase joint stability and protect against further injury.

For knee pain, standing poses such as Chair pose and Warrior poses are beneficial in strengthening the muscles around the knee. Seated poses such as Fish pose can also be used to target tightness in the lower back and hips.

Mindful movement and stretching also help to reduce stiffness and improve range of motion throughout the body. Breathing control is important in yoga, as it has been seen to promote relaxation in areas with chronic pain. Yoga offers great relief from joint conditions.

Yoga Poses for Joint-Friendly Exercise

Yoga poses rock for keeping your joints healthy and pain-free! They increase flexibility and strength in the joints. Plus, reduce inflammation and improve circulation. Result? Knee pain relief!

In this article, let’s explore the most beneficial yoga poses for joint-friendly exercise and knee pain relief:

Cat-Cow Pose

Cat-Cow Pose, or Marjariasana-Bitilasana, is a classic yoga pose. It warms up and prepares the lower back for deeper poses. It helps to elongate and relax the spine. It also improves posture and increases flexibility in the neck, shoulders, back, and hips. This pose is often used as part of sun salutations. It can help alleviate knee pain caused by tight hips and hamstrings.

To begin, come down onto your hands and knees. Keep your knees hip width apart. Make sure your spine is aligned in a neutral position. Your arms should be parallel to your shoulders. Keep your neck in line with your spine. Gaze at the floor between or slightly ahead of your hands.

Inhale deeply into the belly. Arch your spine like an angry cat (Marjariasana). Exhale and round each vertebra off the ground. Look like an arched cow (Bitilasana). Let each exhale bring you further down. Let both elbows touch the ground. Avoid pushing if it causes discomfort or aggravates injuries. Always practice in awareness!

Hold this pose for 10-15 breaths. Then slowly release from it on an exhale. To enhance this pose further, add gentle circle movements of the tailbone. Do side to side torso rocking motions. Nourish yourself through mindfulness with every breath!

After practice, rest flat on your stomach. Don’t forget self-love is essential during every yoga journey!

Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose (also called Balasana) is a yoga exercise that’s great for your hips, back, shoulders, and legs. It’s especially useful in helping ease lower back pain and reducing knee pain.

To do the pose, start on your mat with your feet together. Then, sit back onto your thighs and bend forward. Put your forehead to the floor and stretch your arms out in front of you, palms down. For maximum benefit, stay in this position for 10 deep breaths before getting up.

The Child’s Pose has lots of advantages:

  • It widens your hips.
  • It gives your spine more room.
  • It stretches out your neck, hips, knee joints, and feet.
  • It calms down your nervous system.
  • It increases circulation in your internal organs.
  • It helps with digestion.
  • It reduces stress in your neck muscles.

Downward-Facing Dog

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is so helpful for people – especially those with knee pain. It’s a great active stretch for calves, knees and hips – muscles that are often strained by life’s activities.

Start on all fours. Put your hands beneath your shoulders, and your knees below your hips. Curl your toes under and press your weight into your hands. Lift your hips to the sky and engage your core muscles. Create a straight line from wrists to hips to heels. If needed, bend your knees slightly.

To go deeper, bend the right leg and suspend it over the left. Gently press into the right leg while rippling energy through both legs and tucking away tension in the left knee joint. Relax the shoulders and neck. Lengthen up through the spine, opening blood vessels in the right leg for pain relief.

This pose looks difficult, but it provides amazing benefits for joint stability and knee pain. It relaxes the body and spine, and can be combined with other poses like Child’s Pose or Cat/Cow Pose to increase joint mobility.

Cobra Pose

Cobra pose (Bhujangasana) is a joint-friendly yoga posture. It opens the heart and lungs, strengthens the spine, and strengthens the legs.

To do it:

  • Lie down flat on your stomach. Place your hands beside your chest.
  • Inhale and push the chest forward. Keep the lower body on the ground. You can also do it with just your elbows on the ground.
  • Press your feet into the floor and draw your navel towards the spine. This will help you keep the torso in correct alignment.
  • Relax your muscles in the neck and shoulders. Focus on lengthening in two directions: up through the crown of the head, and downwards with an extended tailbone.
  • Feel a gentle stretch in both legs. Open across the chest and shoulders to relieve any tension or pain.
  • When you’re ready, slowly return to the starting position. To do this, roll your shoulder blades down towards the buttocks before placing your palms/elbows back on the floor. Exhale while lying flat again.

Triangle Pose

Trikonasana, or the Triangle Pose, is a classic yoga pose. It can be a great and gentle exercise. It helps to make legs stronger, and it helps to stretch and lengthen the spine. It can also tone the stomach area. This pose helps reduce knee pain. It stretches the hip rotator muscles while making them stronger.

To do the Triangle Pose:

  1. Stand up
  2. Put one foot forward and turn the back heel outward so your toes are facing left or right
  3. Bend the front knee over the ankle
  4. You should feel a stretch in the glutes, hamstrings, and quads
  5. Reach both of your arms out to either side, making a “T” shape
  6. Reach both hands straight out towards either side of the front leg
  7. Balance your weight so you don’t lean too far back or forward
  8. Hold for 30 seconds to 2 minutes before repeating on the other side

Once you are used to this pose, deepen it. Reach down further towards the floor with both hands. Engage all four sides of your leg muscles. Reach up through the crown of your head, and contract your belly towards your spine. Every body is different, so take what feels best. Be mindful of any sensation around the knee joint. Doing several repetitions will help you get better conditioning and greater range of motion at the knee joints.

Warrior I Pose

Start in Mountain Pose, with feet straight and hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto the right foot, while lifting the left leg off the ground. Bend it backward at a 90-degree angle. Stretch arms forward towards the ground, then towards each other on either side. Palms should meet above shoulder height without locking the elbows. Ensure proper posture throughout this pose. Feet and body should be aligned and facing forward.

Take deep breaths, and hold for 10 seconds or more. With practice, increase flexibility in all areas of the body. Pay special attention to not overextend any joint for maximum benefit. This is Warrior I Pose. It helps enhance balance and strengthen the body while reducing joint stress.

Bridge Pose

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana) is a great way to stretch your lower back and hip flexors without putting strain on your joints. It can be adjusted to fit your needs, which makes it great for those with knee or joint-related issues.

To start, lie on your back, with bent knees and feet on the ground in a tabletop position (hip-width apart). Move your feet closer to your hips. Press down through the inner edges of your feet and activate your quads.

Slowly lift up through your hips, into an inverted V shape from the chest up. Rest your arms against your body and press onto the ground for more stability. Hold for 10 slow breaths, then roll down vertebra by vertebra until you’re flat on your back again.

Bridge pose is good for opening tight hip flexors and releasing tension in the abdomen. With regular practice, many people experience pain relief in their lower body joints.

Knee Pain Relief

Knee pain can be a huge problem! But, don’t worry, yoga poses can help. Let’s explore their benefits and find out which will work best for your sore knees. So, you can get back to living your life!

Half-Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch

For knee pain relief, the half-kneeling hip flexor stretch is a helpful yoga pose. Begin on an exercise mat. Place one foot forward. Angle it at 45 degrees. Keep the knee directly above the heel. Put the other knee on the ground. Remain upright. Press the front hip forward. Feel gentle stretching around your hip and groin. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Then, switch sides and repeat.

You can do this without equipment. Simply move away from whatever surface you’re on (like a couch or chair).

Quadriceps Stretch

The Quadriceps Stretch is a yoga pose to make you more flexible and help with knee pain. Stand facing a wall, with your hands on it at shoulder height, and step one leg back. Push your pelvis forward and press both feet into the ground. This targets the quadricep muscles. Hold the pose for 20-30 seconds then switch legs.

This stretch is good cause it won’t strain other parts of the body. It provides improved flexibility in the quads, reduces tension in the legs and improves circulation. Doing the stretch regularly can improve joint health and mobility in the long-term.

Seated Hamstring Stretch

The seated hamstring stretch is a great exercise for knee pain relief. It helps to make the hamstrings, located at the back of the thigh, flexible and stronger.

  • Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Place your hands on the edge of the chair for balance.
  • Tilt your pelvis forward and reach your chest toward your toes. Feel a moderate stretch in your hamstrings. Hold it for 20-30 seconds. Then release it gradually. Repeat this 2-3 times per leg. Don’t push too deep into the stretch.

Stretching can balance the muscles between quadriceps and hamstrings. This reduces strain on ligaments, tendons, and joints. To stay healthy, it’s important to do regular deep stretching.

Half-Kneeling Knee Extension Stretch

Try the Half-Kneeling Knee Extension Stretch! It’s a joint-friendly exercise for active knee and hip mobility. Perfect for workouts or physical therapy for those with hip or knee pain.

  • Start by getting into half-kneeling position. Feet should be several inches apart. Both knees bent at 90 degrees, back leg for stability.
  • Center gravity over front foot to prevent weight shifts. Slide back foot away until feeling a stretch at front hip joint. Hold for 4-5 breaths. Move torso forward for extra flexibility.
  • Slide back foot inwards and repeat on both sides. This pose may provide relief from chronic or acute knee pain with its combination of active stretching and stability.

Half-Kneeling Knee Flexion Stretch

Half-Kneeling Knee Flexion Stretch is a great hip-opener. It targets muscles and ligaments around the knee. This stretch opens tight muscles near the knee joint for better range of motion, flexibility and muscle balance.

To do it:

  1. Kneel on one leg and lift the other slightly off the ground, foot flexed.
  2. Keep your back straight, palms flat against the thigh. Press forward until you feel a stretch in the hip area or outer knee area.
  3. Hold it up to 60 seconds and switch sides.
  4. You can also add a side bend by dropping the lead shoulder towards the floor while keeping the hips square.

This exercise is great for runners or anyone having tightness in their lower body due to running or other exercises needing knee and hip mobility. The Half-Kneeling Knee Flexion Stretch encourages true range of motion for proper alignment in movement patterns. This supports healthy joints and body structure which is necessary to reduce pain from common knee injuries like patellar tendinitis, runner’s knee, osteoarthritis, etc.


To wrap it up, doing yoga postures that target knee strain and joint health can reduce pain, increase range of motion, and improve joint health. When picking poses for knee strain and joint pain, remember to align each body part for hips and knees to move freely.

By looking at each yoga pose, making sure there’s enough stretching and strengthening, and changing them to fit individual needs, every practitioner can build a yoga practice that relieves pain and increases joint mobility. Also, use props like blocks or straps if needed to remain safe and comfy. With effort both inside and outside the practice room, yogis can find relief from knee strain and better joint stability in the body.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What are some yoga poses for joint-friendly exercise?

A1: Some great yoga poses for joint-friendly exercise are mountain pose, seated forward fold, child’s pose, and wide-legged forward fold.

Q2: What are some yoga poses that can help relieve knee pain?

A2: Some yoga poses that can help relieve knee pain include chair pose, bridge pose, half pigeon pose, and reclined hero pose.

Q3: What is the most important thing to remember when doing yoga for joint-friendly exercise and knee pain relief?

A3:The most important thing to remember when doing yoga for joint-friendly exercise and knee pain relief is to listen to your body and to adjust the poses so they are comfortable and safe for you.