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Yoga Tip: Protect Those Wrists

When some people think of yoga, they picture a person sitting silently in Lotus, eyes closed, meditating on the meaning of life. Some people do practice that kind of yoga, but not me! The yoga I do is both physically and mentally challenging. It's hard, and can be hard on your body, especially on the smaller joints of the body.

Yoga can be really demanding on your wrists. There are tons of postures where most or all of your body weight is placed into your hands, such as Down Dog, Tripod Balance, Handstand, and Crow. If your wrists are weak, or you're not paying full attention, you can end up injuring yourself. Here are some tips for protecting those often weak wrists:

  • This is a MUST: When doing poses where your hands and wrists are supporting much of your weight, spread your fingers as wide as you can. Activate every single fingertip, pressing them firmly into the ground, as if you were gripping it (I try to think of Spiderman). The underside of your fingers will not even be touching the ground - only your fingertips and the knuckles at the base of each finger. Try to take some of the weight out of your wrists by distributing the weight to your fingers. It takes a little practice, but once you get the hang of it, you'll notice a huge difference.

What else can you do to protect your wrists? To find out

  • Move S-L-O-W-L-Y and deliberately when you do yoga. Listen to your body and don't try to rush into a pose. If you move or jump too quickly, you could end upp twisting or jamming your poor little wrist.
  • Don't overdo it! If your wrists are screaming in pain from doing too many poses that involve your wrists, give them a break. Try these 2 wrist stretches - they always make my wrists feel better.
  • Icing sore wrists can also bring down inflammation.

Fit's Tips: Once you practice using your fingertips and the heels of your palms in yoga poses, you'll find your wrists and the muscles surrounding them strengthening. This strength will help you do poses you weren't able to do before, and you'll also be able to hold poses longer.

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