Emma Lovell Yoga

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Monthly Archives August 2014


I have been teaching Virasana a lot in classes these last few weeks.  It’s a great pose for lengthening quadriceps and ‘helps the knees is by bringing them through their complete range of flexion, nourishing joint surfaces that might otherwise be neglected.’  However many students can find this pose uncomfortable due to tightness in ankles, hips, or more importantly because they have a knee injury.

This is an informative article on what is going on in Virasana and whether you should or shouldn’t practice the pose with a knee injury.  And this is a great article on how to practice Virasana safely.  To summarise:

– Don’t force

– Go slowly

– Avoid pain

– Keep feet inline with shins

– Avoid overstretching the knees

– Keep ankles near the hips

– Use props!  If needed sit up on blocks or use a blanket/stick between the back of the knees as below, or use a blanket under the ankles  if sitting on the heels.

Jules Mitchell: The Science of Stretching

This interview is a great listen if you’re interested in the science and myths of stretching:

‘We want to be stiff- just stiff in all ranges of motion, not just one range of motion. In a full range of motion “stiff” makes us powerful beings and now we have a full range.’

‘This idea that the more flexible we are the better off we are- when in reality those people have more trouble “holding themselves together”.’

Here’s Jules Mitchell’s blog for further information on her work