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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.

Wendy2549702 Wendy2549702 5 years
can i wear wrist supports or tape my wrist during yoga?
Wendy2549702 Wendy2549702 5 years
can I wrap my wirist with tape or wear writs supports during yoga?
liebenkugel liebenkugel 10 years
oh, this is really, really helpful. I love yoga (been doing it since I was 10 or so) but I find my joints are pretty delicate, especially my wrists (fractured/sprained/broken).
Clarixa Clarixa 10 years
Thanks great tips, I am a beginner yogi and was asked if my wrist was starting to hurt. I took a mysore astanga class and now I understand what the instructor was telling me, to protect my wrist. I like the fact that I am being told about the correct way, so I can learn, how to successfully do it, before I learn any bad habits.
loveshine1 loveshine1 10 years
I used to get sore wrists, but not anymore. I got these things called "Power Paws". They're kind of expensive, but they really provide excellent wrist support. I know I couldn't do some of the poses without them. I tried doing a wheel without them the other day, and the pain was unimaginable. I definitely recommend Power Paws.
vegan-musician vegan-musician 10 years
thanks for these tips! i'm a musician and my wrists are very important to my playing. i've always been prone to ganglion cysts, and sometimes yoga gives me a few more problems. i want to keep them in top shape and still do lots of yoga! :-)
angel0950 angel0950 10 years
thank you so much! i have so many wrist issues that i have to come down to my forearms when doing downward dog. i'll definitely make more of an effort to stretch them as i dont go to acupuncture anymore. doesnt help when i also have tenditious. boo.
Fitness Fitness 10 years
Arnica also helps. Try a cream called Topricin. You can get it at stores that sell vitamins and some health food shops.
emlod10 emlod10 10 years
if your wrists do hurt - aspercreme really does help! I has wrist pain from playing tennis quite often. It not only helped but i don't have pain anymore. I also wrap my wrist now to protect it.
Kerri1 Kerri1 10 years
I totally agree with you. I think that wrist pain is the number one reason people quit yoga. I have also changed to Bikram because there are almost no postures involving the wrists. I have been practicing for 10 years, both Bikram and Hatha, I'm glad to no longer have as much wrist pain following my practice.
i-love-starbucks i-love-starbucks 10 years
For all the yogis out there I would like to suggest Bikram yoga. It's often called "hot yoga" or "bootcamp yoga"'s an excellent workout and you don't balance on your wrists that often. This type of yoga is 90 minutes long and takes place in 105 degree room. You will sweat a lot, but will reap amazing health benefits!
ktacce ktacce 10 years
sore wrists are the #1 reason that i changed from yoga to piyo (pilates/yoga hybrid class) -- and we still do downward dog and it's still painful!!! this will hopefully help! Great post.
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