Beginners Yoga – Avoid Wrist Pain

When it comes to Beginners Yoga – its important to Avoid Wrist Pain. Sore wrists can be a common occurrence in a yoga class, and a little aching is fine, but it is important not to let it progress into pain or real discomfort. Here are some tips and tricks to follow.


There are a lot of weight bearing poses in yoga; poses such as downward dog or even simple tabletop where the hands are flat to the floor shorten the angle between the back of the hand and the back of the wrist, which can be uncomfortable, particularly for newer students. With a regular yoga practice you will both learn good technique and strengthen your wrists, so it will improve, but as with all things yoga, it will take time.


Start in a non weight bearing pose such as tabletop (otherwise known as hands and knees) to practice using your hands. The reason so many of us suffer with our wrists in yoga is often because we put all the weight of our bodies into the heel of the hand, often not even using the hand itself for any weight bearing. This infographic is useful.

What I advise for technique is to spread the hand on the floor and stretch out all of the fingers and the thumb as much as you can. Then, bring the thumb about 50% of the way back in towards the palm, almost creating a pinching action (think getting a tissue out of the box when you’ve just painted your nails). Really engage the joint of the thumb, the first finger and the little finger where they meet the palm. Engage the fingertips and see if you can feel the weight shift forwards off the heel of the hand, higher up the hand.

It takes consistency and practice to learn to do this by default. Every time you place your hands on your mat during practice, think about it. Practice particularly in the non-weight bearing poses such as tabletop or even with the arms extended in child’s pose and then try it in things like downward dog. Pretty soon it will become second nature.


We all know that we must take a break in yoga if we find a pose or sequence too much, but who amongst us actually allows ourselves to do this? When it comes to your wrists, be more gentle with yourself. If you find that your wrists hurt in downward dog, come down and relax for a few breaks. If you find your wrists generally aching during class, relax for a moment.


Sit back on your heels and do some gentle wrist circles in one direction and then the other. Shaking the hands firmly can also bring relief. For further wrist stretching, gently press the back of the hand into the floor with the fingers pointing towards the heels. Turn the hand over so it is palm down, fingers towards heels again and repeat.

If you allow your wrist strength to develop gradually by practising good technique, aching wrists will soon become a thing of the past.

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