Yoga Scaling Options for Wrist Injuries


wrisitsWrist weakness and injuries often seem to be deterrents to a regular yoga practice, but let’s discuss some ways to keep your yoga going as you heal.

There are a variety of ways to limit the amount of stress put on the wrists.  Here are some options to consider.

If your injury is severe and you have been asked to keep all weight off your wrists, you might consider chair yoga.  All poses are done either seated or using a chair for support.  Without adding any undue stress to your wrists, you can still experience a very good yoga session with the right instructor.

Another option is to use one of a variety of props to minimize stress.

When performing poses such as plank or downward-facing dog, place your hands on a rolled up yoga mat and extend the fingers toward the floor.  This will change the angle of your wrists and may eliminate the unwanted pressure.

Another option is to try gloves or braces offered at sporting goods companies.

My favorite option is to modify poses that will allow you to keep to your routine.

Modifications are listed here for 3 poses and can be adapted to other similar poses that require weight bearing by your hands/ wrists.

  1. Downward-facing dog: Convert this pose to Dolphin by bending your elbows as you lift your tailbone.
  2. Cat and Cow and other poses done from Table-Top: Make fists with your hands and rest on your knuckles instead of your wrists.
  3. Plank pose: Use Dolphin arms for this also, bending the elbows and supporting your torso with your upper arms.

Please keep in mind that some injuries heal slowly, but the time waiting and modifying is not in vain. It teaches patience and it reminds us how yoga is about the function and purpose of the poses.  Not being able to do a pose we want forces us to reach inside to find what really works for us, regardless of what others are doing.

Rotate those wrists and Namaste,