In the past few months I have really taken my inversion practice to the next level and have been spending a lot of time on my hands. Along with this new passion to be upside down came a new pain, mostly in my left wrist (I am left handed).
So like every concerned yogi I began to ask questions and do some research on my own. It seems I was not alone in my struggle and there were quite a few others who have the same issues. I even came across an article that says yoga can destroy your body!? While most of the things I read hinted towards bad form; which I do agree, there is also something to be said about the physical makeup of our individual bodies. Sometimes, even with the best form, past injuries (lacrosse for me) or just not enough hand strength can result in a forcing down in the palms.
What they were really talking about with “form” is hasta bandha. It’s the arch you create at the base of the hand by flexing the fingers and bringing a claw like motion to the floor. Flexing the hands in this fashion creates a cushion effect for the wrists and body.
I came across this article talking about the pain in downward dog specifically and I found it interesting how she mentions to use wrist supports if you need them during a weight bearing practice. If I look back to my lacrosse career, I always used to get my wrists taped by the trainer when the pain acted up. Which in the end, brought me to this conclusion…
Even with all the form and concentration in the world… the simple fact remains that we, as humans, were not meant to be on our hands for extended periods of time. Enter hand and wrist pain…
I have ordered 2 different pairs of wrist braces/gloves out of curiosity/desperation. lol
Tiger Paw – This is a wrist support used by Olympic gymnasts, platform divers and other acrobatic activities.
Wrist Assured Gloves (WAGS) – these are gloves specifically designed for the use of yoga and other workouts that require you to be on your hands for prolonged periods of time.
I am not to eager on using these props in my practice but if it can help my pain go away, I am totally up for giving them a shot. Expect a review of both when I get a chance to put them to the test.
Update: After about a year of wrist pain I have learned how to properly distribute the weight in my hands safely and effectively. This is now a huge part of what I teach in my classes now. If you’re ever in the New York metro area feel free to check them out! You can see my current schedule here JeffreyPosner.com