Modifications to Yoga Poses for Sensitive Hands


Yoga practitioners often experience wrist pain or sensitivity. If you’re one of them, you know just how it can affect your practice. It seems that when the wrists are not in the picture, all poses become about the weight of the hands.

After my initial enthusiasm, I waited and watched for two years before I could put weight back on my wrist.

If you feel some tenderness on your wrists, you should take it slow and change poses until you feel better. Here are five poses that can be modified to help with sensitive wrists.

Downward Facing dog

It’s hard to avoid this pose in a yoga class. So it’s good to have an alternative. The pose may be mild enough for you to tolerate, depending on how your wrists are feeling. You can also come to your elbows and do a Dolphin pose, where your weight is on your arms.

You can also use the slanting side of a specially-formed block, such as the Three Minute Egg Blocks, to provide a gentler angle for your wrists. When leaning against blocks, make sure that you feel stable and don’t try to put too much pressure on your wrists.

Plank Pose

This position puts your wrists at a 90-degree angle, which can be very painful. By lowering yourself to your knees, you can relieve some of the pressure on your wrists. You can lower yourself onto your forearms if you wish to remain in Plank Pose. It will still work the core and upper arms while not affecting your wrists.

If your wrists feel okay, you can use props. Use a rolled-up mat or your yoga mat to create a cushion under your hands. Place the heel on the mat and place the fingers on the ground. This will ease the angle at the wrist.

You can hold the handles of dumbbells or weights that you have at home instead of laying your hands flat against the mat. The wrists will remain straight.

Cat and Cow

You can use your fingertips instead of your full hand in poses where you are holding the hands at a 90-degree angle but not too much weight. Try this to warm up your spine when doing the Cat and Cow. It would be best if you started with shorter periods as your fingers may not be used.

Try forming a fist so that your wrists remain straight. These options should only be practiced with poses that do not put too much pressure on your hands.

Wheel Pose

This may seem impossible when you are suffering from wrist pain, but it is possible to practice this pose with a friend. This pose was possible even when leaning my wrist on the floor was too difficult.

As you lay down, ask someone to help you. Ask them to stand near your shoulders and face you. Then, you can grab their ankles with your fingers pointing downward. As you rise, grab your friend’s ankles.

You can also heal your wrist injury by doing the bridge pose.

Dogs that face upward

If Upward Facing Dog Pose hurts your wrists, try Cobra Pose with minimal weight on the arms. Sphinx pose from Yin Yoga allows you to focus on a deeper backbend by putting the weight of your arms instead of your wrists.

Start slowly when you begin to put more weight on your wrists. Leaning against a brick wall, you can feel how your wrists feel. You can gently push up against a wall to get your wrists used to weight.

It may seem that some injuries heal very slowly, but it is worth the wait and modifying. It is a great way to teach patience and also reminds us that yoga is about more than just the pose’s form.

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