Drawing on her expertise as a yoga teacher who has used yoga to recover from knee pain and to keep her knees healthy, Sandy Blaine presents a comprehensive yoga program to help you:
• understand common knee problems that cause pain and limit mobility
• practice poses for pain prevention and rehabilitation
- I love this book and perform all the poses 5-6 days a week. After one month, I’m so much stronger and more flexible than I ever thought possible. Blaine devotes one-two pages to fully explain each pose: what it does, how to do it correctly, how to modify for greater ease. As a beginner, I appreciate the thorough explanation. I purchased this book not for my knees per se, but to help me sit more comfortably through longer meditations. It’s done that and so much more. When I first started, I could only do the Seat of Power pose for 10 seconds. After one month, I can hold it for over one minute, and I can feel my quads becoming firmer, stronger and more defined. These poses help the knees by stretching and strengthening the lower body, but you’ll feel benefits all over. And many of them you can do anywhere. For example, I’ll practice Thread the Needle II in my chair every day at work, or I’ll take an extra minute during my break to do the Half Downward Facing Dog. They feel great, and somehow I’m not as tired at the end of the day. I’m 50 years old at a desk job, and want to increase strength and flexibility as I get older — not become stiff and injury prone. This book won’t offer anything new for the experienced yogi, but for the rest of us, it’s perfect and should be in every home. Don’t hesitate.
- My knee pain was from meniscus tear on both knees aggravated by much undesirable pressure on the knees – moving kids from dorm to apartment, apartment to apartment, several times. Most of the move’s consisted of lifting boxes of books and sometimes chairs and tables. None of this helped.
From Advil, I had graduated to prescription pain killers when I found this book. A first for me was that I actually read this book within a week or so of Amazon delivering it. The book’s so well got up that it was not hard to get thru the book at all.
What I liked most about the book was that it’s easy to hold while you’re on the floor, so you can do a quick read about the pose, put the book down and then try the pose. That’s what I did. Within a couple months of getting the book, I’m on to some 10 poses in the book. I do them every morning. It takes me little over half hour but saying that it’s worth it is probably an understatement.
I dont feel the heaviness in my knees any more. I’m able to easily sit cross legged on the floor which I was not able to do before, I’m able to do sun salutations which I was a little scared about attempting earlier. I complement the morning stretches with an hour long walk in the evening just so I give myself some exercise. My lower back and calf muscles feel a lot less tight now. I’m also experimentally off my painkillers for about two weeks now.
This is a great gift for anyone who has poor knees i.e., has limited movement in the knees, for whatever reasons. The author describes every pose carefully including how a beginner might find it a little hard, where you’ll feel the stretch if you’re doing the pose right etc. There’s also a handy selection of poses you might want to do if you were pressed for time in your daily schedule. There are some 14 poses in the book, I’m onto some 10 of which I’m comfortable with 7 and I started just a few weeks back. It’s harder to get this comfortable so soon even with a personal teacher.
The illustrations are great. The model does not look ultra slim like an Olympic gymnast or anything like that 🙂 which could sometimes discourage ordinary people from even trying out the poses. It has an index and suggestions for further reading. The best is the suggested schedule if you had only 15 to 20 minutes, 30 to 45 minutes or an hour every day. Clearly the author has much experience with people who spring a variety of excuses to refrain from incorporating a stretching regimen into their daily schedule.
- I was looking for exercises or stretches to help a problem knee; I knew essentially nothing about yoga and decided to read this brief guide by Sandy Blaine. Blaine, an adherent of Iyengar yoga, here focuses on knee health, and I found it to be helpful in planning a routine to help my knees. I am a runner and have had one knee surgery which was somewhat successful, though I still have lingering pain and range of motion reduction in that knee. I found this to be challenging and I always was mindful of Blaine’s advice to not start too quickly or do anything that causes pain in the knees. Hyperextension is one big issue dealt with, and others flow from that and other anatomical and fitness problems (collapsed arches, etc.)
Most of the book is very well designed and easy to follow, but there are several times when she uses terminology that might not be obvious to neophytes, or uses terms early in the book and then explains them later. These are generally minor points, and I agree with her that this book would be much better used if employed in conjunction with a qualified instructor as some of the directions are baffling for the novice, e.g. “lengthen your tailbone toward the floor.” (How exactly does one do that?) I do like the list of props for each exercise and the explanation of the purpose of each pose. Some poses I thought would be difficult were easier than I expected (e.g. the “Half Downward-Facing Dog Pose,” Ardha Adho Mukha Svanasana) while some that seemed simple proved much harder than expected, especially the “Half Frog Pose,” Ardha Bhekasana; it’s not supposed to hurt the knee (Blaine warns you about this) but this is very difficult for my bad knee without pain.
Overall I think this is a good brief introduction to yoga for knee health; if you have had surgery or have one knee that is much worse than the other the book may be frustrating, as symmetry between sides is emphasized. For the price I think it’s worthwhile and a good value: I wanted it to help me become more injury resistant and flexible, and for those goals I like it.