4 Ways to Avoid Wrist Pain in Yoga

1.    Use Forearms and Fists for Support:

If your wrists are fatigued or ease on down to your forearms, and prop yourself up with them instead of using your hands. Practice plank pose with your hands in fists from time to time. These simple modifications take a load off those precious wrist joints.

2.    Build Wrist Strength:

Certain yoga asanas actually help you build strength in your wrists. Downward-facing dog and chatarunga dandasana are both wrist-strengthening poses. So, the more you mindfully move through sun salutations, the more you’re going to upgrade the health of your wrists, which is bound to prevent injury.

Modify Your Yoga Practice as Needed:

There are a number of ways you can modify yoga poses to take the pressure off of your hands and wrists. Using props such as yoga blocks (wood or foam) or a chair can help bring the ground closer to you in an asana like downward dog. There’s nothing wrong with modifying your asana practice, especially if it prevents injury and supports your practice in the long run. Consider the many ways to use your props that might take the pressure off your wrists, bring the ground to you and shift the weight from your arms, hands, and wrists to your strong and sturdy leg muscles.

3.    Practice Proper Alignment:

Alignment is key when it comes to injury prevention, and that includes wrist injuries. So, get to know your anatomy and alignment in those poses that put a load on your hands and wrists. Your shoulders need to be aligned with your outer wrists in poses like table top pose, upward-facing dog, plank pose, and other arm balances. Another way to practice good wrist alignment is to engage hasta bandha. This is the ‘hand lock’. It’s subtle but powerful for the strength of your wrists. Come onto all fours and as you press your hands into the floor, pull upwards through the center of your palm, and engage your arms. This moves energy up and takes pressure off the wrists!

4.    Correct Weight Distribution:

Balance the distribution of your weight, and you’ll find your wrists are supported by other areas of the body. In downward-facing dog, for example, mindfully bring your weight more into your heels, rather than your hands. Experience how different this feels for your hands and wrists. You’ll also want to make sure your weight is distributed evenly between each hand in every weight-bearing asana.