Our wrists help us to keep our bodies in alignment, but too often they are subject to the same level of abuse and neglect that our muscles and bones do. Wrist strength is crucial for an active lifestyle, and if you neglect it, you may experience pain, numbness, or damage. Yoga poses will help develop your wrist strength, and help you to keep your hands and wrists in strong shape.
The wrist is a complex joint with a lot of moving parts. With all that movement, it’s important to make sure that the joints of the wrist are strong and supple, and that they have the support they need. One of the most common yoga poses for strengthening the wrists is Garudasana.
Many of the sharpest yoga tricks involve handstands and swims. Students who are new to yoga are often curious and eager to assume these higher poses.
People who begin a new handstand exercise often complain of wrist pain. It is important to strengthen, stretch and prepare the wrist for the balance of the hand, otherwise the injury can become very real and painful.
Turn your palm upwards. Look at the base of the wrist. In the middle, where the palm attaches to the wrist, there is a small indentation. The median nerve runs underneath this incision.
When we apply constant pressure to this area, this nerve comes under pressure and causes wrist pain, similar to carpal tunnel. It can also cause numbness and tingling. If you’re not careful, the pain will eventually spread throughout your forearm. Very boring.
To avoid this, a few simple alignment techniques will help.
When doing a wrist pose with the fingers forward, make sure the flexion of the wrist is parallel to the front of the mat. Make sure the wrist crease is not too far bent. How do you do that? Press lightly on your palm.
Press the knuckles of your index and middle finger down as far as you can, then pull your fingertips firmly towards your knuckles. It takes some practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, your entire forearm works in balance on the hand, taking the pressure off your wrists.
Yoga postures to strengthen the wrist
Here are seven poses that will help you strengthen your wrists. Try doing them with the above alignment and with the action of bringing the knuckles down and the fingertips in, being careful not to put too much pressure on the median nerve. See if you notice a difference.
1. Position bolt
Everyone’s favorite pose! Alignment tips can be found here.
3. Side band
4. Installation with raised platform or installation with raised pole
If you’re not ready for a top bar yet or if you’re feeling a little tired, practice the top table top.
5. Witches of crows (any variation)
6. Peacock pose
If you’re not ready for the Peacock yet, just try to get your hands in the right position and shift your weight to your wrists and elbows. Don’t even try to stand up, just get used to the feeling of the asana.
7. ATR or preparation for ATR
L exercises against a wall, one-legged downward dog, small jumps from a standing position and donkey steps help your wrists get used to and ready for more weight.
Try to pay more attention to the alignment of your hands, fingers and ankles when balancing on your hands and in handstands. This will add greatly to your practice. What are your favorite ways to strengthen your wrists?