Look Ma, No Hands – Yoga for Wrist Injuries

I recently found myself with tendonitis in both of my wrists. If you’re a yogi, you know this is a total bummer, especially if you practice vinyasa flow. To add insult to injury, the flare up in my wrists was most likely caused by yoga. Though to be fair, yoga is not really to blame. I’m a trained teacher and know how to protect my wrists, but I got lazy with my alignment and didn’t listen to my body. I was tired, but kept going for that extra vinyasa or arm balance when I should have gone for child’s pose. Alright body, lesson learned!

So the past couple of weeks I’ve been taking a forced hiatus from yoga… that is until I remembered a MyYogaWorks class by David Kim: Look Ma, No Hands, which was designed specifically for people with wrist injuries. With great excitement, I rolled out my mat and was reminded very quickly that one does not need sun salutations and vinyasas to build a ton of heat. David kicked my butt and I never once put pressure on my wrists!

Though it’s great to have a class designed with wrist injuries in mind, it’s also important to make sure yoga is never the cause of said injuries. That said, here are a few simple tips for protecting your wrists when you practice:

  1. Practice on a thinner mat on top of hard wood floors. Soft surfaces can cause compression as the wrists sink into them.
  2. Whenever you’re in a pose that puts weight on the hands, be sure you’re pressing down evenly across the entire palm, fingers, and fingertips.
  3. Consider using a yoga wedge, which can help take weight off the wrists.
  4. In certain poses, you can make a fist and plant that down on the mat instead of your palm.
  5. Don’t be afraid to skip vinyasas or lower your knees in plank and chaturanga to take some of the weight off of your wrists if you’re getting tired.
  6. Give your wrists a break and mix a practice like Look Ma, No Hands into your regular routine.

Happy practicing!



Joanna McCracken photo by fluid frame
 Joanna Berman is a holistic health counselor, writer, recipe developer, 500-hour certified yoga teacher, and the Content & Communications Manager at YogaWorks and MyYogaWorks. She believes in finding balance, figuring out what makes you feel your best, and most importantly enjoying the process. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram at @peppermysalt for all things food and yoga, including in-post recipes! peppermysalt.com 



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