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Ask Yoga Today

Ask Yoga Today – Reducing Wrist Pain During Your Vinyasa

Posted: October 11th, 2011 by Neesha Zollinger 9 Comments

Dear Neesha,

Recently during and after yoga practice I have been experiencing wrist pain, especially during plank-chaturanga-upward dog series. Do you have any advice for preventing this pain?

Thank you and Namaste,

Bess M. from Atlanta, GA

Dear Bess,

My first advice for you is to go back to basics of hand placement from any and all of our beginning classes.  If your hands are out of alignment or you are not using balanced action then, your body tells you at some point, usually in the form of pain.   Another possibility is that your shoulders are not in the most ideal alignment, which can also create pain in the wrists, but since I can not see you, I will address the hands instead.

Transitions are one of the more difficult places in life to maintain good alignment and stay rooted.  I suspect that you could refine the placement of your hands and wrists, then work on holding that steady as you move from pose to pose.

The general guidelines are this:

1.  Set the foundation:

-       Make your wrist creases parallel to the front of your mat.

-       Spread your fingers evenly

-       Line the center of your wrist crease up to your outer shoulder

-       Root all 4 corners of each hand down, starting with the index finger mound, inner hand, pinky finger mound then outer hand

2.  Create balanced action:

-       Claw the ground with muscle energy so that your finger pads root down

-       Maintaining the foundation of all those points evenly rooting down, extend Organic Energy from the focal point (the heart in

……most of these poses), out through your fingers.

3.  Maintain these placements and actions through transitions!!!

I hope that this helps your practice.  I have found that in the many years that I have been teaching and practicing yoga, we think that we are doing this with their hands, and we are really not, because we need to build more self awareness.  Use your gaze to see what your hands are doing, this will build more inner and outer awareness.   Most people lose the inner hand rooting or their finger pads lift up when they transition which creates a lot of pressure in your little carpal bones in your wrist resulting in pain, or their hands are too narrow.  Watch and see what happens to you!

Many blessings on your practice,