Avoiding Wrist Pain in Yoga

Practising yoga asanas require us to bear weight on our hands a lot of times. Just think the usual suspects – planks, downward dogs, chaturangas – and throw in the occasional (or for some, frequent) arm balances and handstands – that’s a lot of bearing of weight on our palms!

Wrist pain is one of the most common issues in class, and it’s understandable. Sometimes, the pain can be so unbearable or distracting that it prevents us from going further into the practice.

The hands have so many tiny, underdeveloped muscles that tire easily, making us want to collapse into the base of the hands (the meatiest part of the palm) to give the little muscles a rest, but this in turn hurt the wrists. 

This diagram gives a good illustration on how to distribute the weight in your palms and avoid wrist pain in yoga.

YE avoid-wrist-pain.jpg

If such details don’t work for you, keep in mind these few points:

  • Spread your fingers wide!
  • Press all ten knuckles and ground the fingertips into the mat.
  • Try to have the weight distributed equally across the inner and outer palms
  • Feel a suction right in the middle of the palms lifting upwards, this will awaken the forearm muscles to help prevent collapsing all the weight in the base of the palms.

Whatever you do, try not to get discouraged. The muscles in the hands will build up over time with consistent practice, and hopefully the wrist pain will be a thing of the past.

Try it and let me know how it goes!