Question about Knee issues


Hello there!

My name is Rosie and this is my first post heere.

I’ve been doing yoga for about a year, and do not have issues with most knee-sensitive positions such as half or full pigeon, frog, reclining hero etc, however I hear the bones crunching under my knee cap if I try to do a lunge where I am resting on the knee. It can be difficult to balance and quite uncomofortable.

I’m wondering what the problem might be, and if there are any poses that concetrate on that?


Sorry cant specifically help you but…[B][I]dont underestimate knee pain[/I][/B]. I been practising for 20yrs, last yr slight twinge in knee. Stupidly ignored and carried on (against all my yogic principles!!) - resulting torn meniscus.
Yep i no help at all - hopefully “inner athlete” will reply to you…i found his posts and recommendations to be excellent


thanks Jumpers!

I totally agree with being careful not to underestimate knee pain… or in fact any pain. I’m firmly opposed to the ‘no pain, no gain’ theory.

I haven’t really done much about this pain as it’s not very often that we’re asked to lunge this way, but I was wondering why the teachers never mention a modification for knees in that pose the way they do for reclining hero and others.

I can lie flat in reclining hero as easily as if I was lying without my feet tucked under me, so I suspect it’s not a muscle issue, but something to do with the cartlidge… maybe?


Have you ever been looked at for Femoral Patella Syndrome? I had/have that and it is a lot of crunching when compressing the knee and a lot of clicking when I am extending it. I orginaly got it from a combo of Softball, falling down the stairs, and then running 3 miles the next day (I was in High School, and not into being in tune with my body at that point) If affects a huge number of women.

Its basically when your knee cap doesn’t fit on to the bone correctly. Usually your inside leg muscles or outside leg muscles are stronger than the other, pulling the knee cap over.


Thanks for this… I haven’t looked into it but I’ll definitely do some digging. It sounds like it might be this, or maybe even the ligaments not being strong enough to keep the cap in place?

scratches head


Maybe try sending a detailed description to fellow member on here “inner athlete” (hope i not pushing it with this)
I come frm swimming coach background, looking at all the answers on here inner athelete seems be very knowledgable and may be able to help (disclaimer - i dont know innerathelete i just following his posts…no i not his secret admirer either;))


The first three poses you list are not particularly relevant for the knee joint as it is a hinge joint (like a door) and only goes in two directions. The damage that is done to the knee in those poses is done because a) the student approaches posture aggressively and/or b) there is not enough opening in the hips and therefore the action of the pose must go into the next joint in line, which happens to be the knee.

It is relevant, however, to reference Supta Virasana, though in that posture the shin bone is on the floor but the kneecap itself is not. To further complicate the comparison many students lift the pelvis and tuck it in order to come into the pose. And while that allows the student a sense of doing and accomplishment it is not a legitimate indicator of the opening in the quadriceps.

If the weight on the knee cap in Vanarasana (lunge) is unbearable consider folding the mat laterally or using a blanket/foam pad under it for comfort. Unless there’s a pre-existing injury I’m not aware of any danger in resting the kneecap on the floor.

In the meantime it is balance in the hips which maintain the integrity of the knee. A student that is very open in external rotation but not so in internal, or one that can do Supta Virasana (or Eka Pada Supta Virasana) but cannot catch the big toes while keeping the leg straight in Supta Padangusthasana these students do not have a balanced hip complex.

Have your teacher look at and assess where YOU need work in six of the eight actions of the hip and work those accordingly in your home practice.