Preventing Wrist Injuries in Yoga

Particularly if you are new to yoga, you may find some postures (Plank, Chaturanga or Downward Facing Dog) a bit challenging.  But even regular practioners may at times experience some discomfort in the wrists when doing certain postures.  The reason for wrist soreness lies in the mostly limited use of our wrists (particularly if you have a sedentary job or have to perform repetitive manual tasks).  Placing pressure on our hands (and as such, our wrists) is an unusual motion unless you are regularly doing your push-ups.  The good news is that wrist sensitivities heal relatively quickly (IF you take care of yourself and DO NOT let them become chronic) and strength is built up with a regular practice.
However, to avoid developing wrist issues in the first place, it is a good idea to check the alignment of your hands: E.g., in Downward Facing Dog, is most of the weight on the outside of your hands (i.e. the side of the little finger), are you cupping the hands and bending the elbows to the side?  These actions all cause an unusual amount of tension on the wrist, elbow and shoulder joint.  The way to correct the weight distribution in your hands is to consciously place the emphasis equally on the mounds of the index finger, base of the thumb and mound of the little finger.  To achieve more optimal alignment in your shoulders, it helps to place a strap the width of your shoulders just over your elbows: This helps to align your hands, elbows and shoulders and shows your body the correct way to engage the muscles.  If you want to learn more, check out this article by Doug Keller or talk to us before or after class.
Have a great practice 🙂
Evelyn and Andrew

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