Wrist Considerations in Yoga and Acro Yoga
A fair number of people are coming to yoga and acro yoga from non-movement related jobs – ie: desk jobs – where there tends to be little movement in general and mainly repetitive wrist movements. Then, they come to the mat, and the first few poses tend to be downward facing dog, chatarunga, and cobra pose or upward facing dog — all poses that place an immediate demand upon the wrists without any prior warm up.
In acro yoga, it’s a similar scene except many are going from their jobs to an acro practice where they are interacting with another person (basing or flying), exploring movements that put a fair amount of stress upon the wrists also often with little to no warm up.
What are some potential effects of not warming up?
- sore wrists
- carpal tunnel like syndrome
If we look to the majority of circus art classes, any hand balancing class or workshop that’s worth its salt, and/or the careers of people who perform professionally and wish to be able to have some sort of career longevity, a wrist warm up is one of the first things they do. Why is that? Well, chances are a fair number of them have experienced wrist pain and/or injury and would like to do all they can to avoid a repeat occurrence if at all possible. And, quite frankly, having “been there, done that,” your teacher likely wants you to stay healthy, pain and injury-free.
I know I would and do. What can be done about it?
The answer is pretty simple. Warm-up. Take care of your wrists. Stretch and strengthen them. (It’s a bit more complex with people who already have injuries and/or pain). How?
Rather than re-invent the wheel, I highly recommend checking out the series of videos below put together by my teacher, Yuri Marmerstein.
This video is by far the most comprehensible hand and wrist sequence I have seen to date. In my opinion, it’s worth its weight in gold. It’s also the wrist warm-up I use prior to each practice session (though I have had a couple of times where I did hop directly into an acro practice without warming up only to have sore wrists for a couple of days afterwards. Doh. Lesson learned.).
If you have any questions or are wondering how to integrate hand and wrist care into your practice, comment below and let me know.
For more about Yuri Marmerstein, follow him at Yuri Marmerstein.