9. Heron Pose
This intense hamstring stretch is no joke. Don’t be afraid to modify it to suit your personal flexibility. you can also lean back against a wall for more support.
- Begin seated on the ground with both legs extended straight out in front of you, back straight.
- Bend your right knee so that the right shin is resting on the floor and the heel of the right foot is beside the right hip.
- Bend your left knee in towards your chest, grab your left calf with both hands and extend upwards.
- Bring your lower back inwards and bring your torso closer to your leg.
- Remain in the pose for 3 to 5 full breaths. On an exhale, gently bend and lower the left leg and return to the starting position. When you feel ready, repeat on the other side.
10. Lord of the Dance Pose
This dancer’s pose will also stretch your glutes and shoulders!
- Stand tall with your feet at hip’s width apart.
- Look straight ahead and bend your left knee, bring your foot towards your glutes.
- Hold the inside of your left foot with the left hand, and unbend your knee, pushing your foot backward and up. Engage your right thigh and knee to strengthen the standing leg.
- As you do so, keep your chest open and your pubic bone rolled backward to lengthen your back.
- Extend your right arm up towards the ceiling and look upward.
- Hold for 5-10 breaths.
- On an exhale, release the leg back down to the floor. Rest for a few breaths and switch sides.
11. Noose Pose
This squatting pose engages your knees to keep your balance. It also strengthens them.
- Stand tall with your feet together. Breathe deeply and find your center by slowly bringing your weight from side to side.
- Bend your knees to come to a squat, bringing your buttocks to your heels, without letting them touch the ground.
- Exhale, bring your knees slightly to the right and twist your torso to the left, keeping your torso in touch with your thighs.
- Bring your left arm behind your back to hold your right hand.
- Twist your torso further to the left, following with your head.
- Exhale and bring your shoulder blades together.
- Hold for 3-4 breaths, return to the center, and twist to the other side.
12. Pigeon Pose
This pose really stretches your thighs and back as well as the muscles that support your knee caps.
- Start on your hands and knees and bring your right knee forward, more or less behind your right wrist.
- Place your ankle in front of your left hip.Keep your left thigh parallel to your hips.
- Slide your left leg back, straighten the knee and point your toes. Keep your hips straight.
- Gently lower yourself down to the ground, using a yoga block for support if needed.
- Stay here for 5 breaths or longer, until your hips feel loose.
- Come out of the pose by pushing back through the hands and lifting the hips. Return to the starting position and switch sides.
13. Tree Pose
By focussing on balance, this pose strengthen the ligaments and tissues around your knee, which keep your kneecap in its place.
- Stand up tall with your feet together and hands resting on your chest in a prayer position.
- Place your weight onto your left heel and lift your right leg, resting your right sole above your right knee or just under it, turning your right knee to the side.
- Find your balance and bring your arms above your head.
- Hold for five breaths, then switch side.