Knee surgery for a torn meniscus or entire knee replacement sometimes becomes imperative; its rehabilitation takes about seven to eight weeks; by that time any inflammation, redness or pain will be taken care of; as soon as you are able to put your weight on your affected leg without pain, you are ready for Bikram (hot) yoga. It is better to go slow in the beginning- right after the surgery- if there is any indication of redness, swelling or soreness, remember to ice it. Also avoid stretching or bending the leg too far. In Bikram yoga an hour and a half of performance of very challenging poses, in a room kept at 105 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity level at forty percent, produces profuse perspiration to relieve the body of all toxic wastes. It also increases the strength and elasticity in knees after surgery; and prevents injuries in future
Rewards of Bikram Yoga after Surgery
- Strengthens inner and outer quadriceps
- Strong inner, outer, upper and lower muscles support the weak knee
- Increased blood flow and nutrients for the affected knee
Knee Protection while Performing Yoga
After knee surgery, one might want to return to one’s lifestyle quickly, it is important to do so with extreme caution. Adopting wrong poses or pushing beyond limits can further endanger your knees. To practice Bikram yoga as you are recuperating, keep the following in mind.
- Keep your feet well placed and aligned. Push down through all four corners of your feet for most of the asanas. If your feet are not in the right position, your knees will be affected adversely.
- Your knees should be in line with your ankles, not moving out over them. This is important especially for lunges and knee bends. The knee must be directing towards the middle toe. In standing extended-leg forward fold, remember to pull up on the arches of the feet.
- Some postures in Bikram yoga require locking the knees, refrain from that after surgery; you may pull in the knee-caps to take up a pose. If you need to hyperextend your knees for a certain pose, do so by keeping the knees slightly bent in most standing and forward folding positions.
- If your hips are not opened up or extended fully, your knees will have to bear extra pressure during most of the standing postures. You must open your hips early in a class to avoid putting this strain on your knees.
Bikram yoga practitioners who have gone through knee surgery must take extra care to perform certain poses. Hero’s pose if not performed rightly can pull at the knee-ligaments, while done properly, proves beneficial in healing the knees. In Triangle pose there is a risk of locking or hyper-extending your knees. In Seated-Forward Fold, bend your knees a little to avoid any further damage to your knee. To practice Child’s pose, put a blanket between your buttocks and calves to reduce strain on your affected knee. As this branch of yoga puts a great emphasis on patience, you must remember to be patient and allow enough time for your body to heal fully before you put it through a demanding regimen.