black woman outside in revolved crescent lunge yoga pose
[ Knitting ][ Mindset ]

Yoga for Knitters: 5 Reasons Why It’s Beneficial

The benefits of yoga can not be disputed. But what about yoga for knitters specifically?

Today I’m bringing to light just a handful of reasons I have found yoga to be helpful in my knitting life and why I think it may help you too.

1. Mind-body awareness.

Practicing yoga connects us to how our body is feeling. The longer you continue to come back to your mat, the more you will find yourself being aware of how you are feeling when you are off the mat. This translates well into knitting sessions. When knitters practice yoga, they naturally find themselves stretching body parts more frequently. Taking knitting breaks both short and long occurs naturally and before our bodies begin screaming (or forcing us) to stop.

dark natural colored in-process knitting project laying on wood table with balls of yarn, a calendar open with design notes sitting on top, computer keyboard peeking into frame

2. Improved knitting posture.

Yoga teaches improved posture in a fluid and natural way. You may not even notice how your posture is improving until it suddenly surprises you one day. But there’s no way around it, as your yoga improves your posture, your knitting sessions will improve as well. Likely without even thinking about it, you will sit straighter and keep your shoulders and neck more relaxed while you knit. Yoga for knitters means longer, more comfortable knitting sessions for you! Not to mention it helps your general overall health for pursuing any activity.

outdoor yoga class showing four people on yoga mats in meditation pose

3. It makes you feel great.

This feels a bit obvious, but necessary to point out anyway. All that deep breathing, stretching, and strengthening you do during your yoga practice makes you feel really darn good! And you know what you do when you feel good? Knit more! Actually, feeling good creates a desire to do more of the things you enjoy doing. So do some yoga and you just might discover yourself finding extra time to sit and knit awhile. 

This feel-good feeling from your yoga practice is really three-fold. First, it makes your body feel good. Second, it improves your mental state. And thirdly, yoga gives you a boost emotionally. And that triple whammy provides you with a better session every time you sit down to knit.

close-up image of just the hands and feet of a woman in forward fold yoga pose

4. It builds stronger muscles.

Again, this is perhaps obvious, but there’s a reason why doctors, nutritionists, and anyone in the healthcare field all over the world recommend regular strength training. Strong muscles strengthen bones, and joints and likely offer a multitude of other benefits we haven’t yet realized. So how does this relate specifically to knitting? Well, let’s revisit the posture point for a moment. How do you think our posture is improved through yoga? Partly through increased awareness, but also because of stronger muscles. 

I want to call out two specific areas of muscle building. Yoga helps increase core muscle strength. Stronger core muscles help you in all aspects of your life because those muscles are, well, core. They are in the center of your body. They are the starting point of general body movement. The other benefit of yoga for knitters is something that might get overlooked but is arguably just as important. All those downward dogs and sun salutations strengthen your hands, wrists, and fingers. Stronger hands, wrists, and fingers mean a more comfortable time knitting.

sign that reads "mindfulness" sitting on windowsill

5. More mindfulness.

Practicing yoga as a knitter teaches us to be more mindful. Whether that translates to what we knit or what we knit with (eco-friendly yarn anyone? Wink, wink), being more mindful helps us be better knitters and humans. It can also help bring awareness to if we’re using knitting as an emotions-processing tool.  I know I certainly use knitting as therapy. There’s a difference, though, between using it to process your emotions versus using it to push down your emotions by using knitting as a distraction from feeling those feelings. Consider that next time you’re feeling big feelings and turn to your knitting. Are you using your hands to help you process those feelings? Or are you using those moving needles to distract you from working through those emotions? If you’re doing the latter, I recommend setting down your needles and finding a way to process those emotions. Call a friend or therapist, write it out in a journal, walk it out, or dance it out, but process those emotions before they settle in and wreak havoc on your mental health.

Clearly, I highly recommend yoga for knitters. I think the benefits far surpass what has come to my attention. But as a devoted yogi, and I say that with a bit of hesitation, as I definitely do not look like what you’d imagine a typical yogi to look like, I’d love to encourage you to give it a try. Yoga is never about perfection or nailing the poses. Like most of life, it’s about the slow journey. It’s about what you put into it and as a result, get out of it too. 

Here are a few suggested places to help you begin your yoga journey:

If you already have a regular yoga practice, what benefits have you found to be true for you?

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Mindy Kingery

When I'm not dyeing, designing or dreaming of yarn, you can find me painting, digging in my garden, hiking with my family or working on one of my many, many WIPs.

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