Wrist Tips For Yoga

Have you ever felt pain while putting weight on your wrists during yoga poses? While doing yoga poses such as Downward Dog, Plank or Handstand you may have felt a pain in your wrists and wondered how to strengthen your wrists and prevent wrist injuries.

The hands are made of 39 muscles working together in order to hold your weight. The top of the arm has the wrist flexors group of muscles which bend the hand at the wrist and the fingers. We tend to have tense wrist flexors due to the over usage.

On the opposite side of the hand, the extensor muscle group, is usually weak due to underuse.

There are several poses and exercises to balance both wrist muscle groups. Here are several ways that I have found useful in my Yoga practice:

  • Strengthen your Core – studies demonstrate that a strong core can increase the ability of your rotator cuff muscles which stabilize your shoulders, and decrease weight load on wrists.

Practice core strengthening yoga poses like:

  • Boat Pose (Navasana)
  • Boat Pose Sequence: 10-20 seconds at first and then slowly hold the pose up to a minute.

Kundalini: Breath of Fire with Stretch Pose

Keep the heels or toes lightly touching the floor.

Hold for 2 minutes while doing:

  1. Inhale while allowing air and belly to fill the lungs.
  2. Exhale by quickly pulling the navel point in and up toward the spine as you force the breath out.
  3. Breathe like this rapidly to 2 to 3 cycles per second.

Avoid this pose if you are pregnant or menstruating!

Strengthen and Engage your Shoulder Rotator Cuffs

When you engage your shoulders, they stabilize your shoulders, and take weight off of your wrists. Try the pose Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II).

Stabilize Your Wrists

Make sure your wrists are shoulder width apart so the weight spreads correctly. Your fingers should be pointing forward instead of out and away. To protect your wrists, more weight should be placed on the heel of the hand while using the fingers pads to spread the weight evenly. The heel of your hand can hold more weight than the outer portion of your hand. Here are some more ways:

Try Wrist Curls facing upwards and downwards. Use Wrist Curl exercises to strengthen the wrist ligaments. Do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions with two weights, one in each hand. Use a 1-5lb weights (or with a clenched fist).

  1. Place your wrists over your knees with your palms facing down.
  2. Bend the wrists up and pause for a second. Then return back to the original position.
  3. Repeat with the palms facing up.

With any of these exercises, you should never feel any sharp pain, but if you do stop immediately and seek professional help.

On the other hand, by strengthening your entire body including your wrists you are actively preventing injuries and developing strong wrists. Yoga is a great way to identify wrist weaknesses and work towards creating a balance. I hope this article helps you gain understanding about the wrists and you are able to feel comfortable in poses like plank and downward dog!

Yoga: The Untapped Brain Booster

Yoga: The Untapped Brain Booster

Have been looking for ways to improve your thinking capacity? Well, you might as well consider yoga. A recent study has indicated that when you engage in yoga, every week, you will benefit from a better memory A good number of people suffer from memory issues as age catches up with them.

It can become almost impossible to remember the names of people, places, or even words that would ordinarily spring up in our minds. Brain function weakens as you inevitably age.

The Good News

Fortunately, there is a ray of hope, with the emerging studies that as you age, you can mitigate memory loss and boost the functions of the brain with yoga. Yoga is a lifestyle which goes beyond meditation. When you combine physical activity with meditation, there are immense benefits for you. In another study, it was discovered that when stressed people took time to meditate before going out for a run; they had a significant improvement in their moods.

The University of California undertook a study to ascertain whether or not there was any relation between yoga and enhanced brain activities. This started with the recruitment of adults who were 29 years and above. These were people who had confirmed that they were anxious in their lives and the occasionally experienced memory lapses.

The Process and Results of Yoga

The people who were being used for the test were split into two groups, with the first one enrolled in brain training programs. This included classroom work and a number of mental exercises. The other group took yoga, once a week, for one hour and was taught about Kundalini yoga. This is a type of yoga that focuses on meditation, breathing exercises as well as poses and movement. Most of those chosen were new to yoga, as it was easier for them to complete the classes. The two sets of groups participated in the program for 12 weeks.

When the period ended, they were given cognitive tests and performed much better in the activities that involved thinking. However, the group that engaged in yoga showed great improvements in moods than those who undertook the brain training programs. They also scored higher on the test of visuospatial memory, which measures the ability to identify and have a better understanding of the environment.

The brain scans on both groups showed that the brain was actively communicating with the parts that are involved in language skills and memory. However, those who had been involved in yoga also showed that there was great improvement in the parts of the brain that deal with attention, which meant that they could multitask or focus better on a single task.

In essence, yoga was either at par with the brain training program or exceeded its results. As such, it is safe to conclude that yoga can be an effective remedy for brain issues and can be a great mental booster.