It may seem too easy. Holding onto the back of a chair, or a table, or nothing all depending on your level of flexibility. With one foot planted firmly into the ground, we raise the other knee. If we can comfortably raise the knee above the hip, we will earn the benefit of flushing the lymph nodes of the hip. Knee raises stretch the groin and help the sciatic nerve. It isn’t as beneficial as squatting, but it is a good prelude.
Raising the knee isn’t a test or a contest, but the higher we can lift it, the more beneficial it will be. It will stretch the tendons around the sacrum, loosen the psoas muscle on both sides, and soften any compression of the lower lumbar. If we sit too much, our glute muscles and hamstrings can get flabby. While these simple exercises don’t replace strength training, they will provide movement and increase energy and blood flow to the posterior chain of muscles, tendons, meridians, and blood vessels.
Some people may be able to perform alternating knee raises high in perfect balance. Others may need to balance while holding onto a wall or chair. Still others may need to lay on their back to raise their knees above their hip crease. Lastly, others may need to use a towel or strap to wrap behind the hamstring to pull the knee to the chest. Wherever we are, in age, fitness, ability, or willingness to practice, there is a way we can increase the mobility of the hips and legs by exercises the knee and hip joints.
Even though an exercise is simple, it can still be productive or profound. In fact, this may be the essence of Taoism.