- Make sure that your knees and toes point in the same direction as each other to avoid torque on the knee.
- Do your best to keep both just slightly turned out, but if this pulls too much on the outer knee, turn them out as much as you need.
To make this even more restorative and require less effort you can sit in the squat up against a wall. Take out the need to work the back muscles to find an upright spine and instead concentrating on deepening your hip flexion.
If your knees are not able to bend so deeply—pile up as many blocks as you need so that your knees are comfortable. You can also place a hand towel behind the knees to create more space in the joint.
Thighs and glutes are stretched in this seated pose, while the lower back works to keep the body as upright as possible.
Squatting is an excellent position for the hips and back, with or without effort. It supports pelvic floor health and is extremely useful for women post pregnancy, or for men to support the prostate.
In addition, taking the hips into a deeper range of motion than they are afforded by our "chair habit" will prepare the body for more challenging hip opening yoga poses.
Continue your practice in a yoga class.
Sarah Court is a featured yoga and exercise columnist on Exercise.com. She teaches weekly Yoga Tune Up? and Vinyasa classes at various locations in Los Angeles, and trains yoga teachers in anatomy and in Yoga Tune Up? across the country. She's been featured in the New York Times and as one of nursingschool.net's 100 Incredible Yoga Teachers Who Blog.