Give Your Wrist A Hand: Exercises And Accessories For ‘Yoga Wrist’
Last week I did Yoga for my birthday and what better reminder of my age than to sustain my first yoga injury ever. I was in unrestrained bliss in the downward dog when suddenly I felt a jolt of lightning through my forearm beginning with the soft edge of my palm. The rest of the class I spent in “Down-ish Facing Dog” or “Thorn-in-paw Dog” to give you a proper visual of the new positions I was involuntarily implementing.
When I got home I began to research this injury that had not once accompanied me in all of my twenty years of practice to discover that it is the most common of complaints by students. Attributed mainly to the durr-gonomic positions we put our hands in daily (i.e. typing in full T-Rex position, prying the lid off organic deodorant, riding with ridiculously low cruiser bars on a BMX or massaging everything but our hands) the cause is generally related to activities outside the studio that become agitated when doing certain positions; the main instigators being Plank, Downward Facing Dog, and Chatarunga.
There are a number of suggestions for how to cope with and improve “Yoga Wrist” besides changing your daily routine. The first one is simple and it is something a person can perfect on their own called Tadasana Wrist Therapy. These exercises can be done during the sun salutation and involve rotating your wrists in full circle, changing direction frequently and then shaking them out for another thirty seconds.
Gloves seem to make a person appear as if they are a professional at whatever they are doing, let’s just admit it. From bowling to golfing to serving food on a platter, Montell Gordon’s “This is How We Do It” is always silently playing in the background when you have a pair of gloves on. I searched for Yoga gloves and although I found mostly pairs that provide extra grip, I ended my search on wrist support gloves that have both non-slip and padding for the lower palm. Good for the wrists and other people will have to assume the person in them is training for the Yoga Finals somewhere.
Thirdly, and also very pragmatic is the wedge. Wedges are like blocks but are shaped like a handicap ramp for your hand. Most come in lightweight foam, are easy to carry and modify the angles at which your hands, feet or pelvis contact the ground. Also, they are decently priced at just a little more than a standard mat. If you have a block on hand, they can also serve as buffers so that all of the weight doesn’t get directed in one spot. Lastly, I discovered that if you have injured yourself, let the soreness heal before you try to go back and resume your normally scheduled program. Your body will tell you when it is ready and when it is, you will have prepared for your session with the handiest accessory suitable for your needs.
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