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Painful Wrists after doing Hatha Yoga

Panik2010-07-05 03:12:45 +0000 #1
I decided to start doing Hatha Yoga again! I had done it for about a year or so last year (did wonders for my Judo training...i don't do Judo anymore, so now I have more time for Yoga), and made it one of my resolutions to do it for once a day this year. I am following the program listed on the book "Light On Yoga" by Guruji. The only modification to the schedule is that I am doing the regular Sun Salutation as a warm up (even though he doesn't require it in the beginning stage) that is, enough of them until I feel that my body is open enough to do the postures.

My main problem with Hatha Yoga has usually been painful wrists. That was one of the reasons why I stopped doing it last year, as it got to a point where I couldn't even play guitar or bend my hands backwards without it hurting. I've noticed that the same type of pain is happening once again. This time, every instance where I balance myself in my hands (Upward Dog, etc.) I feel the pain shooting up from my wrist area to my upper forearm. I've also noticed that my wrists 'crack' a lot whenever i bend them back (I'm on my 20's, so I would hope it's not arthritis). Is there anything I could do about this? Is it part of the bone realigning process? I remember when I first started, my knees used to hurt A LOT (esp. while doing the Forward Bend) and that went away with practice...will this happen with my wrists too? I feel that having to stop a restorative practice such as Hatha Yoga to heal would be somewhat paradoxical, won't it? Help?

Namaste

P.S. I "have" taken Yoga lessons in my campus, so it's not like I'm doing the exercises wrong or anything.


Noir2010-07-05 03:27:50 +0000 #2
Yoga should feel good. If you are having any constant pain from it, you should first rule out any other health issues by going to see a doctor. There could be something else going on that you're not aware of.

If the doctor gives you the green light, it may be that your wrists have not built up enough strength and flexibility. Doing poses like Downward Dog, Upward Dog, etc, demands a lot out of your wrists.

If your wrists are "cracking" all the time, that means that your some of your ligaments are out of alignment and it's your body's way of correcting that. Strengthening and flexing your wrists will help alleviate this.

I would try to first do poses that do not require as much strength as the arm balances and then try to work up to those poses. You also might want to consider seeing a different yoga instructor.

Here are some good articles about wrist pain and yoga:

www.yogajournal.com/practice/1247_1.cfm

www.yogajournal.com/practice/962_1.cfm

Namaste
InnerAthlete2010-07-05 03:52:00 +0000 #3
Hopefully Chandra will weigh in on this along with me as I think two perspectives are healthy and she is well trained.

I want to understand your question.

Is it "what can I do to continue my yoga practice and prevent my wrists from hurting" ?

It sounds like you are having a recurring or ongoing issue with the wrists.

In these sorts of situations I'm always reminded of "keep doing what you're doing you'll keep getting what you're getting". What this means is that change is on your horizon.

Either you've got something going on in the wrists and your method of yoga practice brings it up OR your method of yoga practice is responsible. Many students take weight in the hands at the heel portion of the hand. That is where the lower front palm meets the wrist. It is appropriate to redistribute the weightinto the bones of the hand, specifically the finger mounds.

In some cases students with wrist issues have to modify for healing and in other cases it is merely a shift in actions. The action I would typically look for would be the finger mounds pressing down and taking some of the weight off the heel of the palm. Since I cannot see you it is not possible to provide an accurate course of action. But you can try changing the action as outlined above.

The wrists are not to be toyed with so if after a short period you, on your own, are not finding remedy then it's time to seek out a well trained instructor who understands therapeutics.
jmonkey2010-07-05 04:19:00 +0000 #4
I'm a rather newbie here at yoga, but this is similar to what my instructor just shared with me this past week. I have bad knees (3 knee surgeries on my right), so it's painful to do the poses that involve the knees on the mat unless I have a great deal of padding, which is a pile of mats! My instructor commented that the padding may be nice for the knees, but can cause pain in the wrists, so she recommended adjusting the mats so I have the cushioning I need for the knees, with one mat placed where the wrists are.

But I agree with everyone else, you should find someone who can help you with alignment.

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