In addition to the asanas, do try to check your diet and see if you are eating enough food that is providing you with sufficient Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Calcium, Omega-3, and try to add foods that have anti-inflammatory properties. These are sources which are easily available in the Gambia
Sources of Vitamin C: kren kren (molokhiya), bissap (both leaves and flower), baobab, moringa leaves and pods, kaba, mango, papaya, soursop
Source of Vitamin D: exposure to sunlight (daily exposure of 5 to 20 minutes depending on skin tone), egg yolk, oily fish
Source of Calcium: dairy products, sesame seeds, sardines, okra, kren kren (molokhiya)
Source of Omega-3: sardines, oily fish, avocado, pumpkin, soya bean, moringa leaves,
Source with anti-inflammatory properties: bissap leaves, bitter tomatoes, turmeric, ginger, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, green tea
Before you perform any of the following asana please make sure you are cleared by your medical practitioner. In this practice, you will require a rolled-up bath towel.
Sitting on the floor with your spine erect engage your core. If this position is extremely difficult for you, sit against a wall for some support.
Take deep inhalation and exhalation through your nose. Allow your chest and stomach to expand with inhalation and the chest to lower and the stomach to draw in with the exhalation. Continue this breath throughout the practice.
Stay in staff pose for 10 breaths.
Staying in staff pose, point and flex your feet. While controlling a steady movement, inhale to point and exhale to flex the feet. Repeat 10 times.
Staying in staff pose, inhale to lift your right leg, maintaining the extension, as you exhale, bend the knee and draw the knee towards your chest. Inhale to extend the leg again and exhale to lower the leg gently down to the ground. Repeat this 10 times on your right leg. Then repeat on the left leg 10 times. If you need some extra support, you can keep your hands under your thigh as you lift your leg.
Staying in staff pose, place a rolled-up bath towel under the right knee. Keeping the heel down to the ground, press the knee down towards the towel as much as you can. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat 10 times on your right knee, and then repeat on your left knee.
Place the rolled-up towel under the right ankle. Maintaining the posture, press the heel downwards to squeeze the towel. Hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat 10 times on the right foot, then 10 times on the left foot.
Place the rolled-up towel in between the knees. Squeeze the knees together towards the towel and hold for 5 breaths and release. Repeat 10 times.
Come into a standing position. Feet slightly apart, arms beside the body with open palms facing forward. Inhale and exhale, with the next inhalation, start to lift the heels off the ground and balance on the ball of the feet. With the exhalation, lower your heels back down to the ground. If you feel very unbalanced, take support of a wall or the back of a chair. Repeat this 10 times.
Starting in the mountain pose, inhale to lift the arms upwards toward the sky. As you exhale, slowly bend your knees and lower your buttocks down to come into a narrow squat. Make sure that the knees are not passing over the toes. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Inhale to lift back up to mountain pose. Repeat 10 times. Make sure that your neck stays in line with the spine. If this is very challenging for you, see if you can perform this along the wall. Keep your back and the back of your hips touching the wall, walk your feet out and bend the knees so that your knees are as close to right angled as possible. Push the back into the wall and, at the same time, push the soles of your feet down towards the ground. Maintaining your breathing, hold for 5 to 10 breaths. Inhale to lift back up. Repeat 10 times.
Come into a supine position, lying on your back. Bend your knees to bring the sole of your feet onto the ground about hip-width apart. Try to bring the heels stacked in the same line to the knees. As you inhale, lift the hips up towards the sky. Maintaining your breath push the feet into the ground at the same time you push the hips upwards. Be careful that your knees do not spread out or in as you lift the hips. Maintain this position for 5 to 10 breaths. With your exhalation, release the hips gently back down to the ground. Repeat 10 times.
Stay in the supine position. Keeps the legs slightly apart and relaxed. Arms out to the side, slightly away from the body. Relax your body, close your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Stay for 2 to 5 minutes.
These asanas can increase the strength of the muscles supporting the knee, increase blood flow, lubricate joints and reduce inflammation by stimulation synovial fluids in joints. It is a good practice for anyone who has weak knees or regularly experience knee pain.