If you’re part of that 10 percent, you already know how difficult it is to do a downward dog, right? And wrist pain isn’t exclusive to those with general wrist pain; beginner yogis deal with this a lot, too. Whether you’re dealing with a preexisting condition or doing your very first sun salutation, there’s a fix that may help give you some relief.
Try this: press into the “L” part of your hands as opposed to the outer edges. Make an L with your forefinger and thumb, and try to use this as the weight-bearing area of your hands.
Pushing onto the outer edges of your hands can put your wrists in a compromised position; there’s less strength on that side. By using the ‘meatier’ part of your hand and spreading the distribution of weight through the thumb and forefinger, you may find this position to be much more comfortable—thus allowing you to flow through your practice more smoothly.
Doing this can help alleviate some of the wrist pain you can experience, but it’s not a catch-all solution. Forearm strength, core strength, and other parts of your alignment all play a role here. Your best bet is to ask for modifications from your instructor if something hurts. (Pushing through a painful position is never a great idea.) Be sure that your doctor gives the green light to do certain poses, too—you don’t want to try chaturanga pose with less-than-limber wrists.
In the meantime, don’t miss these wrist stretches and modifications. They may be just the thing to make your next yoga session your most comfortable yet.
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