When you start doing yoga, you quickly discover that there are some parts of your body that just cooperate as well as others. Stiffness, pain, lack of mobility – yoga teaches you just how many areas of your body you have, and exactly how strong and flexible they actually are.
Wrists, in particular, are a problem area for many people. Many poses involve holding your weight up with your hands, and therefore your wrists, which can be a major challenge if you have issues with your wrists. Whether from previous injuries, or just from inherent sensitivity, you may struggle with many poses because of your wrists.
Ways To Deal With Wrist Issues
As always, listen to your body, and your doctor if your wrist problems are injury-related. That being said, here are a few ways to deal with wrist issues in your practice.
Focus on alignment
Your yoga instructors have probably mentioned alignment a few times, or maybe a few hundred. This is because the concept bears repeating. Proper alignment is necessary to avoid injury or excessive stress to your body. If what you are doing is hurting, the first thing to do is stop. The second is to ask the instructor, during or at least after class, how to practice proper alignment in any pose that is causing you discomfort.
It seems funny to think about stretching before yoga, but when you have problem areas it is sometimes necessary. Your wrists may just be tight, from work or from lack of use. There are several easy wrist stretches you can try.
One is to make a fist and roll your wrist back and forth. Another is to hold your arm out perpendicular from your body with your fingers pointed up. Then use the hand that is not extended to pull the extended hand so that the wrist and forearm is stretched. You can pull the fingers back over the top of the arm, or over under the arm, depending on what you want to stretch.
Use Your Fists
Sometimes your wrists just don't cooperate, but you can still modify to make some poses work. If you have ever seen someone do pushups on their knuckles, you know the general idea here. Instead of putting pressure on your hand, you put it on your fist, and keep your wrists aligned with your forearms as a result.
Vertical fists work best for this, where the large knuckles of the hands are facing outward from the body, as if you were grasping a hammer.
You can use fists in any pushup-type position, like upward facing dog. You can also try fists in downward facing dog. This will still result in bending of the wrists, but it may be less uncomfortable than the more extreme bending that happens from using the open hand.
Be gentle with yourself
Take it easy on your wrists. If they are feeling uncomfortable, even with perfect alignment, stretching and modifications, you might want to give them a break. There are still plenty of poses you can do that avoid putting pressure on sensitive wrists.
By: Jessica Adams (G+)