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Why do my wrists hurt when I practice yoga?

Updated: Feb 25


We spend quite a bit of time on our hands in yoga; downward facing dog, plank, cobra, side plank, the list goes on! The most common feedback I get from my students is about they pain they experience in their wrists. What often happens as we are practicing yoga is that we tend to collapse our weight into our wrists causing strain and discomfort, not realizing that we have larger stronger muscles that can help carry that weight. So I am going to teach you a simple technique to help combat that issue.


Let's Talk...Hasta Bandha (the hand lock)

Hasta Bandha (keep saying it if you want, its so much fun) is a technique that when practiced, helps us:

  • avoid strain

  • prevent wrist injury

  • draw weight out of the wrist

  • enhance the natural arch in your palm

  • distribute weight more effectively

  • prolong the life of your yoga practice.



I created this cute picture as a visual to guide you through this technique, which should be used while doing postures on your hands.

Here are the steps to walk you through Hasta Bandha

1. spread all fingers wide

2. wherever there is a grey heart, place most of your weight

3. press the parts of your hand with red hearts into the mat

4. try not to lift up the area with the pink heart

5. avoid collapsing weight where there is a white heart. Instead, engage your forearm and core muscles to draw the weight up.

6. I often tell my students to imagine that there is a piece of chocolate where the black heart is and if they press down on it the chocolate will melt. So instead lift up.


Most importantly, try not to get caught up in all of the directions and remember that yoga is a practice and not a perfect. I have been practicing yoga 20 years and I still have to remind myself of these actions. Please feel free to comment with any questions or concerns, I am happy to answer them (or find the answer if I don't know it). If wrist pain is something you experience and would like a strengthening and stretching tutorial to help with that, let me know and I can make that happen.

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