How to stop pain in the Wrist in Down Dog.

November 01, 2011

[caption id="attachment_228" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Yogi Mark"][/caption] The body is a physical mechanism similar to a clock, all the parts are connected.  If you turn one of the small wheels of a clock all the other parts turn as well because they are connected.  Similarly, if you rotate your hand the energy transfers to the wrist, to the forearm and up to the shoulder.  This translates to all asana, but most of us are very familiar with Urdva Mukha Svanasana and Adho Mukha Savanasan or Upward facing Dog and Downward facing Dog respectively.  If you get wrist pain in these two yoga poses chances are the shoulder joint is paying the price also.  It is very important to learn joint rotation and bone alignment in yoga poses because, for most of us, we are practicing them repetitiously.  The last thing we want is an injury due to RMS or "Repetitive Motion Syndrome".  This is why it is advised to always have a qualified Teacher or a Guru. To prevent pain and injury and strengthen all parts of the body focus on joint rotation and bone alignment.  Energy transfers from the foundation up.  First bring awareness to the part of the body that is in contact with the floor, usually the hands or feet or both.  In Adho Mukha Svanasana it is both the hands and feet.  Since the tittle of this article is about wrist pain we will just focus on the hands to keep it simple.  The instructions for the feet are the same.  Start with the bones aligned, meaning place the hands in line with the shoulders and the feet in line with the hips.  The middle finger faces directly forward with all the fingers spread wide for a secure foundation.  The tendency is to lean into the wrist and this is wear the trouble starts.  Instead pin the underside of the knuckles to the floor and rotate the hand and wrist towards the center line at the base of the pointer finger.  Resist the lazy temptation to lean into the wrist and keep focused on pinning the base of the pointer finger to the mat.  Notice how this screwing of the hand to the center transfers to the rotation of the forearm moving the eye of the elbow inward.  This energy will transfer up the biceps releasing the ball of the shoulder deep into the socket.  Allow the energy to move through the neck and down the spine by letting the shoulder go towards the hip away from the ear.  Now bring awareness back to the hands and pin the underside of the pointer finger to the mat and follow the transfer of energy up the arm to the shoulder again. Chances are if you are leaning into the wrist the rotation of the shoulder will be off, so instead of securing the shoulder, it may be pulling it out of the socket.  This is not good, especially if you are doing this over and over again.  Remember, everything in the body is unified and connected.  If you focus on the correct rotation of the foundation (hands and feet) the energy will follow through the body allowing it to operate as a whole unified entity with the least amount of resistance to nature.  Less resistance equals less pain. Namaste...

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