I really love Yoga but it kills my wrists. Whenever my instructor brings us into Plank, Downward Dog, Upward Dog or Cobra while everyone else is finding their inner Zen, I am about ready to scream! What am I doing wrong? G.D. Vancouver WA
Surprisingly, you’re not alone!
Yoga, a program that is supposed to be gentler on the body and bring peace, calm and relaxation, for many people does the exact opposite.
Your ability to perform the below exercises without pain and discomfort, depends on a number of factors and with some yoga modifications you could practice yoga discomfort and pain free.
When first developing your muscular strength and endurance, your ability to hold many of these poses for very long will be limited. While the instructor may be cueing you to hold the pose for five or more breaths, your body may be at its limit at one or two breaths. It’s extremely important that you listen to your body and remember this – you know your body better than anyone. There’s a big difference between challenging yourself and pushing past your current limits. Find your point of challenge and then when you’ve had enough, move into a recovery pose like Child’s Pose. It will allow the opportunity for your muscles to relax and relieve some of the tension in your wrists. When you’re ready, you can join in again. After time, you’ll notice you can hold the poses for more breaths before finding it necessary to take a break.
Weight & Height
If your instructor is 5 foot nothing and 100 pounds when soaking wet, it’s no wonder they can hold the poses for what seems like an eternity. The heavier you are, the harder the poses. So for a woman who is 120 pounds, holding a pose for 5 breaths, might be equivalent in intensity to a woman who is 160 pounds holding a pose for 2 breaths. It’s all relative. That goes for height as well. The taller you are, the longer your load and therefore the harder the poses. If you are heavier and taller, either hold your poses for shorter periods of time or look for ways to decrease the load on your muscles and joints. For example, for Plank, perform the pose from your knees versus your toes. For Downward Dog, bend your knees more. For Upward Dog/Cobra – allow your thighs to lightly rest on the floor.
Each of the poses G.D. referred to above, put his wrists in a very extended position. Depending on joint structure (the size of your wrists, the way the bones align), some people have more issues than others. The good news is that each of the poses above can be done from an elbows position versus a wrist position which many people find a lot more comfortable.
Remember Yoga is all about the Mind/Body balance and it’s hard to find that balance when you’re fighting against your body. Listen to your body, progress gradually and celebrate the beauty of your uniqueness and your individual strengths.
Stay strong, healthy and fit!
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10TH ANNUAL GIRLFRIENDS RUN FOR A CURE HALF & QUARTER MARATHON October 16th
The 10th Annual Girlfriends Run for a Cure is a Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles) and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) designed specifically for women to get together to do something good for themselves and to help support a very important women’s cause.