Yoga and Wrist Pain

Posted by huihsien on 04 Nov 09

The fluid and graceful movements of yoga may too quickly result in it being categorised as a low impact workout, hence lower chances of injury. Chronic pain is often dangerously ignored due to the inflated ego of a regular practitioner. In fact, newbies and old timers are both equally vulnerable to yoga-related injuries if safe and correct methods are not practised.

One of the most common injuries sustained are wrist injuries. Here are some tips on how to practise safely to avoid damaging your wrists.

1)Grip the mat

Poses such as Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Facing Dog), Bakasana (Crow) and Plank are physically demanding on the wrists. In these poses, the wrists support most of the body weight. Many practitioners place their palms and fingers flat on the mat but by doing so, all the pressure is concentrated on the wrists. Instead, spread all your fingers as wide as possible, engage your hand muscles and grip the fingertips into the mat. This protects your wrists as weight is evenly distributed throughout all the fingers.


2)Tuck in the elbows

Always keep the elbows as close as possible to the trunk of your body when in poses such as Bhujangasana (Cobra), Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana (Upward Facing Dog) and Chaturanga Dandasana (Four Limbed Staff). If the elbows are sticking out, the pressure that comes down onto the wrists is skewed towards the sides, which prevents even weight distribution.


3)Proper alignment and form

There is generally not enough emphasis on proper hand and arm alignment in Chaturanga Dandasana. People tend to push the body back towards the feet, which results in the elbows not being perpendicular to the wrists. This strains both the elbows and wrists. Next time, when coming down to Chaturanga Dandasana, push your body forward and ensure that your elbows are directly above your wrists.


Be on your way to a lifelong appreciation for yoga and its benefits through integration of mindfulness and awareness in your practice.

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