Hands play a crucial support role in many yoga poses, providing a foundation for your body to rest against while developing arm, core and leg strength. Pressure can create discomfort in your wrists, especially if you have existing wrist issues or are misaligned in your postures. Using wrist supports, such as wedges or wrist braces, can help stabilize this area to avoid injury. Even without additional props, you can modify poses to decrease pressure through your wrists and hands. If you experience ongoing discomfort or pain in your wrists, this could signify a condition unrelated to yoga and you should meet with your doctor.
Be Careful in Poses
Some yoga poses require a 90-degree extension in the wrist that creates pressure through the wrists, hands and sometimes shoulders. In crow pose, you’ll place your hands on the mat and crouch down, pressing your elbows into the insides of your knees. Leaning forward, you’ll lift both feet and then bring your toes together. The full weight of your body will be resting on your wrists at a 90-degree angle. Although your engaged core will help support the pose, the intense pressure through the wrist might be too uncomfortable for some students. In side plank, you press your extended right arm into the floor while angling your body at a 45-degree angle to the floor. Your feet help support your body weight, but there will still be strong pressure directed into the right wrist.
Wrap Your Wrists
Wrist wraps are one way to get support during weight-bearing yoga poses. Wrist wraps often come with a thumb loop. To use a wrist wrap, thread your right thumb through the loop and then wrap the remaining material firmly around your wrist, using the wrap’s catchy material or a hook-and-loop to anchor it in place. Wrap firmly enough to feel supported during yoga poses, but not so tight that circulation or movement becomes a problem. If one wrist has been troubling you due to injury or medical treatment, only one wrap might be required. If both wrists feel vulnerable during your yoga practice, it’s fine to use a wrap on both wrists.
Use the Wedge
Wrist wedges are another possibility for support during yoga class. Wedges can be used in situations when you’d normally press your hands into the mat or floor. To use a wrist wedge, place the support directly where you will place your hands. The wedge’s curve or incline will lessen the degree to which your wrist will need to bend; in a sense, it brings the floor closer to your hands. Depending on wedge size, you might use one large wedge for both hands, or smaller wedges for each hand. Note that wedges are less stable than the floor and might not be suitable for challenging inversions like handstands. Slipping and sliding could result in injury.
Support With Your Body
You can support your wrists without external props, or supplement wrist wedge or wrist wrap use with pose modifications. For example, in side plank you can drop one knee to decrease the weight load in your wrist. Complete downward dog on your forearms instead of your hands, or ball your hands into fists and rest your weight on your knuckles instead of your palms. Using fists instead of palms allows you to keep your wrists straight, decreasing pressure.