Yoga For Hands

A good portion of the general public spends a lot of their time sitting at a desk, looking at a screen, and typing on a keyboard. Our world has transformed into one that revolves around computers and this can have a detrimental effect on our health. While anyone that practice yoga regularly is probably more than aware of the health benefits that come with yoga and how it can reverse the issues caused by sitting in one position for so long every day but an area of our body that’s often neglected in our yoga practice (if not entirely forgotten) is our hands.

Think about everything that your hands do all day long. They drive you around, help you eat, help you drink, lift things up, type all day, wash dishes, do laundry, fix things around the house, and so on. There isn’t anything we do all day long that doesn’t involve our hands. So it doesn’t really make any sense that our hands should go unnoticed when we practice our yoga. We place focuses on parts of our body like our legs, our abs, and our arms looking to achieve perfect results in those areas and sometimes that can turn into neglect for more functional parts of our body like our hands and feet.

Just because yoga is a full body exercise doesn’t mean it isn't enormously helpful for your hands and wrists. Yoga can be especially helpful for your hands if you suffer from an ailment such as arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome or the like. There are plenty of poses that may not be designed just for your hands that can still give them plenty of benefits as you practice your yoga.

One of these such poses is Upward Facing Dog which strengthens the wrists and spine and can relieve a student of carpal tunnel syndrome when practiced routinely. Another good pose is Upward Plank Pose as well as Scale Pose, Side Plank Pose, and Wheel Pose. All of these have benefits for the wrists and arms and can be great for reversing any negative effects that your day to day activities may have had on your hands or wrists. However, as good as these poses can be for your hands is as bad as they can be if you do them wrong or out of alignment. Poses that require you to place the weight of your body on your arms, wrists, and hands require special consideration towards the hands as they are the most likely to be injured during such a pose.

If for some reason you do start to feel a pain in your hands or wrists while in a pose it’s best to come out of that pose immediately so that you don’t cause any further damage. There’s a difference between feeling out the stretch of a pose and having some mild discomfort as your body learns to move in new ways and in suffering genuine pain as your go through your postures. So if you feel any sharp pain in your hands release the pose and then rest your hands and wrists for a while. If the pain was due to misalignment then take some time to stretch the muscles that were being worked improperly in a better way. If you have an ailment that the pain is related to then it’s best to avoid poses that place pressure or weight on the hands or wrists until that ailment is completely healed at which point you can spend more time building up strength in those places to avoid any more of an injury or pain.

So if you’re hands are suffering from some hard work lately or if you have an injury don’t run home and jump into poses that require lots of hand and arm use as you’ll likely just aggravate your injury even more. Instead use some gentle stretching techniques until you’re healed and then move forward into poses that will build up the strength in your hands and arms so that you’re less likely to have further injury or pain.

It’s important to remember, while practicing your yoga, that our hands are especially delicate and have to be strengthened and conditioned the same way other parts of our bodies have to. You can’t head in to yoga as a beginner and expect your hands to be perfectly capable of all the poses and you especially don’t want to put undue pressure or strain on your wrists as this can cause an injury or a sprain.

Like any other part of your body your hands deserve their own attention while practicing yoga and giving them that attention can strengthen them which reduces the risk of injury. Keeping a focus on your hands during part of your practice can also allow you to go deeper in other poses as well and can help you develop your yoga practice as a whole.