Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Ongoing Wrist Problem

I have been practicing Yoga for about five years now. One thing that has not changed since day 1 is the feeling my wrists feel in Full Wheel. I have tried every trick in the book: parallel your feet, don't let your knees splay outward, draw your chest forward, shoulders above the wrist. I can almost dare say that I do a PERFECT WHEEL! But man my wrist continue to hurt. In most classes, you can't do just one, instructor will ask for three. My wrist are done after the first but of course, Miss Pushy Pushy has to keep going and suffer.

I think my wrists are pretty small and not in scale with the rest of my frame, could that be it? I have tried other alternatives like grabbing my instructor's ankles while they stand over me or setting up blocks against the wall and place my hands on them instead of the floor but that just seems like too much work for me to do at the end of class. I think I may have to just do one wheel and the rest bridge poses. I hope I am not causing long-term damage to my wrist bones.

7 comments:

Total Health Yoga - Kris said...

Yeah, what's up with the three wheels every time??? All experienced teachers that I've worked with do three. I've asked, and no one seems to have a great answer why. I say, let's stop this once, twice, three times a wheel. I enjoy one. It's always my best one and it feels great.
With all that said, have you tried a wedge? That might be easier that setting up blocks and moving to a wall. Also, how flexible are your wrists? For example, if you sit or stand and bring your palms together--like a prayer position--then slowly lower your hands down as the elbows lift up, how much angle can your wrists take without separating the hands. Bare in mind this is without any weight on them. If they don't make at least 90 degrees, then I'd suggest working with building wrist flexibility before coming up again. Also, remember not all poses are meant for all people. I've come to believe that my body is not made to take handstand in the middle of the room, and I'm okay with that--it took over a year to convince my mind to be okay, but finally I am :-)

Elizabeth said...

Try wrist turns on all 4's, turn your hand so your middle finger points straight back. Ground all 4 corners of the palm, use the fingers, especially the thumb to share the weight equally. Press your elbows out to the thumb side of turned hand. Make sure you don't sit in the heel of the hand. Have a 90 degree angle at the wrist with the elbows straight and not locked and shoulders just above that. Then move onto the wrist turns in plank. You will develop the ability to have the weight fall through the center of the arm and lift the wrist off the rooted palm. This should prepare you for wheels.

Nadine Fawell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nadine Fawell said...

Hey Marilyn!

I think the 3 wheel thing is usually because the teacher was exposed to Ashtanga at some point - all theseries involve 3 wheels at the end. My teacher (Desikachar in this case) hardly ever even teaches it.

DO you think you might have limited forearm rotation like I do? I can do vinyasas lifted onto my thumbs, but the angle in wheel Just. Doesn't. Work. I never do it anymore, or I modify to rest on my forearms - much deeper stretch in the shoulders, much safer for the wrists. Could also be an angle in you shoulders causing the pressure in your wrists...Kris is right, we don't all have bodies that will do all poses.

bonnie said...

You Should look into some of the work Donnah farhi does she has lots of wrist problems

The Knights said...

Hi I don't know you, but your blog caught my attention because I love yoga and let's face it sweets too. Unfortunatley I haven't been able to practice yoga in a classroom setting for a while, but I used to teach a little bit. Anyways when you are in wheel is your head right above your hands or are your hands slightly forward. I am sure this sounds awkward but if your hands are at a 90 degree angle then the wrists are going to be hurting especially after 3 times. Tell your pushy pushy to leave you alone! And remember too some bodies just can't do what someone elses can, so don't sweat it literally. I personally have to get all geared up for just 1 wheel.

Calliope said...

you might be doing something strange with your shoulders - have you tried to find a good Iyengar teacher? they always seem to have a good answer to any physical problem i'm having in yoga.