How Do I Avoid Wrist Pain in Yoga?

It's true that yoga's bodyweight exercises are great for stretching, strengthening, and relaxing the body - but sometimes pain from our wrists inhibits our ability to focus completely on what we're doing - and it detracts from our experience. One of the fundamentals of yoga therapy is to notice where the pain is coming from, and then carefully stretch and strengthen around the affected area. Though our tendency is avoidance, the pain should bring our attention to that area - and serve as a reminder to put some time and energy every day into working on healing ourselves. We have SUPER HEALING POWERS just like The Wolverine! - albeit not as fast and sans the adamantine skeleton.

So what can you do?

1. Strengthen the wrists - every day do something to get that area stronger. 

2. Stretch out your wrists before yoga class - just come 10 minutes early and stretch out on your mat.

3. Use extra padding - an extra or thick mat, a towel, a blanket,  a wedge, or even a pair of WAGs can go a long way to reduce wrist pain.

4. Modify your poses - If you need to give your wrists a break, you're always welcome to adapt your practice using these replacements to common poses. 

5. Be patient. Healing comes if you're able to approach your pain and injury with tenderness and intention.