Why Do I Have Knee Pain In Bhujapidasana?

July 9, 2024

Transcript of: Why do I have knee pain in bhujapidasana?

Hey everybody! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. I’m David Keil. I answer one of your questions every month in this format. It’s nice and relaxed. It’s a little bit more theoretical, but hey, that’s how I’m doing it. If you’ve got a question that you want me to answer, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion, type it in, please give details, and I’ll do my best to answer your question. This month’s question comes from Nooj and it’s about knee pain in bhujapidasana. She asks about knee pain in bhujapidasana that she’s had for many years.

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The Question:

Hi David,
I’ve been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2010, on and off. But there was of course a certain period of time, 1-2 years, that I was totally dedicated to the practice. Even with such dedication, I was never able to do bhujapidasana fully. [DK: She’s okay with that. She can go as far as the first stage of balancing with crossed legs lifting.] However, for the past five years, I have had a sharp knee pain, on the right knee only, almost every time that I start to lower down to the floor and when taking the legs out to take the bakasana position. Would you be able to share what I should do to prevent the knee pain in bhujapidasana?

The Answer:

So it’s an interesting question. Bhujapidasana is not a common place to get knee pain, but of course, it does happen. So, you didn’t specify where exactly the knee pain was. Is it kind of through the center line? Is it on the inside? Is it on the outside? Because I don’t have the answer to that question, what I’m going to suggest is that we do a little bit of testing. You’re going to have to try it a couple of different ways and see what happens.

Try switching the legs

So the first thing I would look at is which leg is on top. In other words, which leg is being pressed in by the other? That’s important because the one that’s in further is probably going to get just a little bit of extra force when you cross the legs, and especially when you start to do the dipping forward because you’re pulling in to try to keep your legs up. So, one, try switching which leg you put on top. Does it make a change? Yes or no? If yes, then you have your answer. If no, then okay, let’s try to move on to the next step.

Try changing how you squeeze the legs

The other test that you could do is—you know, in bhujapidasana a lot of people end up squeezing their knees in and up against their arms. But actually, what I would do is use your calf muscles and your hamstrings—I know that’s my biceps and my forearm, but you know what I’m doing. As you grab your arms, squeeze with both legs, not just the leg that’s on top. Make sure you’re squeezing with both legs. And, instead of squeezing the knees in, try to take the legs out. The way I say it in class is it’s almost like you’re doing a baddha konasana where the feet are squeezing in and the knees are out. So, not exactly, but more in that direction than in that direction with the legs. See if that makes a difference.

Monitor the knee pain sensation in bhujapidasana

And, the other thing you could do, if neither of those two things works, is try to figure out which stage it is, when you’re bringing your legs in, that you start to feel the sensation. Where is that point where it starts? Sometimes it doesn’t start right away and it builds up and you have the knee pain sensation in bhujapidasana.

Try matching the resistance of the squeeze

And the other thing you can do with how you’re already crossing your legs is instead of squeezing in, try pushing your feet outward. Whichever one is underneath, push it back out against the one that is holding it. Instead of pulling in, match the resistance. So one leg is trying to straighten slightly, while the other one is trying to pull it in slightly. See if that rebalances the tissues.

Explore your hip rotation in other postures

And if none of those is the issue, and particularly if the knee pain in bhujapidasana is clearly on the inside or the outside of your knee, it might be due to lack of hip rotation, which is a very common cause, particularly in lotus. I don’t typically see it show up in bhujapidasana, but it’s a possibility that you have to hold onto. So, we also have to look at other postures where your legs are in similar positions. Check in to see whether there is some little bit of sensation there that might give us some information about this one.

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Alright. So, that’s not a specific answer. You have to go do some testing and try to figure it out. Alright? Use the practice to explore stuff like this. Alright, everyone. I hope that helped Nooj. Anyone else, if you have a question, like I said in the beginning, go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.