Wrist injury can be a common issue for most Yoga practitioners. I’ve experienced what it’s like to have both wrists injured and it’s terrible but with the right kind of knowledge and awareness, most if not all wrist injuries can be avoided.
HOW TO PREVENT INJURY - THE WARM UP
When we start to load our wrists with arm balances, planks, downward dogs etc., it’s important that we allow for a certain adjustment period to take place. When there’s a lot of stress on the wrists, it can trigger pain and eventually cause injury. With that said, we should always start practice with a few exercises to warm up the wrists. One of my favorite wrist exercises starts with the palms facing up, fingers spread out wide (finger tips facing one another) when you exhale create a fist with both hands and hold a few seconds before you open the hands again to repeat a few times. (If your wrist are injured or if you feel pain, add a soft bend to your elbows when you do this exercise.)
Another reason why students have wrist pain comes from how they distribute weight into their hands. The most common thing I see is students pushing weight down into the pinky finger side of their palms when they should be pressing into the index and thumb knuckles. Always spread the fingers out across the mat, grip the mat with the finger tips and actively push into the inner arches of the palms. Now that’s a strong foundation!
If you’ve done all these things and still have pain then it’s time to modify! For example, instead of downward dog, do dolphin plank pose (downward dog on the forearms) Instead of doing a wheel pose with flat hands, you can place blocks (flat or at an angle) against a wall and place your hands on those blocks before you back bend. Instead of cobra, do sphinx pose (cobra pose on the forearms) and instead of doing plank with your palms flat, try it on your fists.
In conclusion, mindfulness has to be part of your practice. Always observe your body and don’t let anything go unnoticed because that’s when injuries happen. If you have any questions about this post or anything you have read so far, please make sure to send me a message or write your comments below!
Check out the video below for a visual reference on all the things that I wrote about in this article. Have fun practicing!