Many people can experience wrist pain in yoga classes, especially as a beginner. A lot of the time it can be simply because our wrists aren’t that strong! We don’t often apply load (weight) to our wrists or hands unless we’re yogis, gymnasts or similar. When we start yoga classes, this lack of strength can cause our wrists to feel achy or uncomfortable.
For me, my wrists felt a little achy when I first started my practice years ago, but this subsided quickly once they got adept at load bearing through poses like down dog and plank. That said, if your pain persists I would always recommend seeing a healthcare professional to make sure there aren’t any ongoing issues.
I think that every yogi should continue to give their wrists some TLC though! Over the summer I would wake up every morning and straight away do a few handstands (it’s better than coffee!). My non-warmed-up wrists didn’t appreciate it too much though, so I developed a routine to help get them happy again. Although I did these exercises daily for a while, I now try and just do it once a week to keep my wrists pain free. My private yoga clients will definitely recognise some of these movements too!
Video One – Wrist Exercises
Just for you guys, I have created a video full of all of the wrist exercises and stretches I did to help my hands get stronger and more mobile.
We do SO many movements in yoga that require weight bearing into our wrists, and this can often be really challenging, especially when we’re not used to doing this! These simple movements that I demonstrate in this video can really help to keep our wrists happy and healthy. They may look simple but they are deceptively hard work and very effective! They should really help reduce the risk of any wrist pain in yoga classes.
I also break down the difference between mobility and flexibility, and how we can identify our active range of motion.
In a rush? The exercises themselves start at 5:52.
You may need a couple of lacrosse-size balls for about half of these exercises. I use the Yoga TuneUp Therapy balls, but anything of that size will do the job fine – even stress balls!
Video Two – Wrist -Free Yoga Flow
It can also be really healthy to do some vinyasa flow practices that don’t involve applying so much weight to your wrists (vinyasa flow with no chaturanga dandasana, whaa?).
This 30 Minute Yoga Flow will give you chance to rest your wrists, while still being able to practice the yoga you know and love! This yoga class has no chaturangas, planks, down dogs, inversions OR arm balances, but is still pretty fiery!
Cheers to healthy wrists!