My Poor Knees

Just this week alone, I had 3 person asked me the same thing. “What is the exercise to cure my knees issues?”

We have younger people developing knee problems and many have blamed on wrong choices of food and physical activities. Many of your doctor or gym trainers aren’t sure about the causes of most type of knees pain and why some people develop it and others do not.

If your gym instructor or Yoga teacher could not explain what causes your knee pain to you structurally in a way you could relate to your experience, most likely they are going to take you on a “trial and error” ride.

For decades, I have thought that when you exercise more, you would strengthen the leg muscles and therefore good for your knees. I used to be a desk warrior sitting for more than 8 hours in front of computer everyday. And in guilt of my passive lifestyle, I committed for gym membership and jump for the most popular treadmill, stationary cycling bike, all type of classes they offer in gym such as body step, body combat and other weight bearing exercises.

After less than 6 months’ gym routine, I develop knees weakness that last for years and even after I started my Yoga journey, basic poses like warrior 1, warrior 2 doesn’t seem to please the knees. And when I relate my experience to many Yoga teachers, some of them were honest enough to reveal “oh, I am having this issue too but it doesn’t disturb me as much”.

Today, I have changed my mind towards the idea that more exercise or Yoga is good for your knees. There is no good exercise for the knees because most knees issues stem from the lower back misalignment. When your lower back is not in its original arch, it affects the structure underneath.

For example, if your lower back slant towards a flat shape because of long hours of sitting, the pelvis position will not be straight anymore and most of the time tilted backward. And when you stand, bend and walk from that foundation, the knees need to compensate for the tightness in the lower back, sacroiliac joint, and hip joint. There will be a direct pressure towards the side or back or front of the knees which stem from the imbalance in the structure above the knees.

Our bodies can give us tremendous leeway for mechanical structural imperfection and most of the people I have worked with have cured or significantly reduced their pain or discomfort through aligning the shape of their lower back and releasing tension in their hip joint and sacrum, even though there is no specific movement or adjustment rendered to the knees.

“Bringing your bones home” reveals an intelligence and strength that goes beyond mechanical practice, that provide original experience in our body.