Thank Goodness for the Little Things

I’ve been wearing black this week, grieving the death of summer. And my practice; I’ve now got wrist pain to match my tricky hips. Le sigh. I’d had a couple weeks to rest it; I’d been running and biking to build up some strength. I finally realized I needed to ask a yoga teacher for some advice; it was not getting any better on its own.

On Friday some early plans fell through, so I dropped into Abhaya before dinner. It was their Dub Vibe class: slow, flowing Anusara, with a live DJ spinning dub (reggae) in the back of the room. Sheila Donnelly was subbing for Tara, and knew just as much about anatomy. Her tips for my wrists:

  • Wrist pain in yoga usually means you’re putting too much weight in the heel of the hand.
  • Work on lifting the heels of the hands (in Down Dog and similar poses). You should be able to fit a couple pencils under the back of the palm.
  • To strengthen the wrists, practice on “ridge tops,” for short periods: lift the heels of the hands about three inches, until the weight is entirely in the bottom knuckles of the fingers. Or lift all the way onto your fingertips.
  • Most people lean weight towards the outsides of the hands; make sure the weight’s to the inner sides of the hands. The wrist should NOT be rotating outward.

So now I have some answers, some assignments. So grateful. On with class.

I was in a strange mood; things were hitting me very poignantly. I was feeling injured, and old; stymied and slow. But the class, and the music, made waves. Seven students sprawled across the space. One had brought her baby; it chirped, and grabbed its feet. We chanted, and focused, and saluted the setting sun. The pace was kind; the teacher was calm. DJ Ceiba gave us “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” The pressure cloud started to lift. We helped each other jump into Handstand; I knew I couldn’t do it, but then all of the sudden I was there. My partner jumped right up, and stuck it; he’s 75 years old. I felt less old :) I felt a sense of perspective, or scale. We found relaxation for the night.

This shit really works, huh?

3 thoughts on “Thank Goodness for the Little Things”

  1. Wrists have been sore for me too. Seems that I no sooner adjust for one thing (shoulders and then elbows) when another weak spot appears.

    Thanks for the tips. I will definitely give them a try.

  2. I know the feeling. It’s like we’re just chasing the weak spots around the body, it’s so hard to get them all acknowledged at once.

    They say that injury is a teacher, but I have to say I like my other teachers a lot better…

  3. Wrist pain is a super-bummer…..but often it means there is congestion somewhere along the forearm muscles, which can pull one of those pesky rice cracker shaped wrist bones out of alignment…causing pain. I have a few great self-care exercises on my Yoga Tune Up® Quick Fix videos…which you can purchase online, and get your first one for FREE. Look for the one labeled “Hand/Wrist/Elbow” find it here:

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