Sorry to hear about your knee pain. Yes, maybe it is due to a tight IT band, but before trying to fix that, it would be good to have a professional opinion as well. A therapist would try to provoke the pain to discover why it is arising. Once you know the cause, finding a cure is easier and likely to be more successful. So, I would urge you to get it checked out.
Many people complain about a “tight IT band, but even if that is the case, there is no way to stretch your IT band. That bit of thickened fascia is so strong that you could lift a car with it. Here is a good post on why you can't and shouldn't even try to stretch your IT band by Greg Lehman: THE MECHANICAL CASE AGAINST FOAM ROLLING YOUR IT BAND. IT CAN NOT LENGTHEN AND IT IS NOT TIGHT
. Since you can't stretch the IT band, instead you may want to work to loosen up the muscles that attach to the band, like the tensor fasciae lata.
Here is one teacher's recommendation for dealing with a tight IT band in a Yin Yoga way: A Yin Sequence to Release Tightness in the IT Band
. Personally, I would choose some completely different postures to work this area:
- * Bananasana: the hips are not flexed and there is a great stress all along the side body
* Reclining Twist with top leg straight out to the side: the hips are flexed 90Â° and the top leg is adducted, which should create a nice stress to the outside of the leg
* Reclining Twist with Twisted Roots: the hips are flexed 90Â° and the top leg is internally rotated and even more adducted, which should create a nice stress to the outside of the leg
* Shoelace with chest folding forward: the hips are flexed between 120-160Â° degrees and the legs are adducted. As you fold deeper you may feel a lovely stretch through the buttocks and side of the hip.
You can finish your sequence with some counterposes then shavasana. Notice all my suggested postures are working to adduct the legs in order to stress the outer legs and hips, but they use different degrees of flexion at the hip. This will change the quality of the stress. Play with it to see which variations work best for you. Start slow, maybe 3 minute holds, and check how you feel while in the pose, coming out and over the next day or two.
But again, first - get it checked out!