Yoga for Balance and Strength building
Nearly 3 years later, I no longer suffer from RSI and very rarely have troubles with my hamstrings. It took time to build the strength required to fully repair, but with practice and patience your body will mend.
- Build Strength With correct alignment, provided you don’t have any wrist injuries, you can work on your wrist and hand strength. Plank, Chaturanga Dandasana and Downward Facing Dog will all help you build up wrist and forearm strength, so regular Vinyasa and Ashtanga classes are great for this.
- Be patient and stay aware of the sensations in your body especially when you are first starting out and when you are trying new, more challenging arm balances. You can bring the knees down in any of these poses and also skip vinyasas in classes.
There are obviously some poses like arm balances you should be skipping for a while but you can also make modifications so you don’t have to lose your dynamic yoga practice completely when you’re injured or rehabilitating. For example, switching plank pose for high lunges, or come onto your forearms in plank and downward facing dog (into Dolphin pose). This will also work on different areas of your core so you’ll get an extra strong workout.
So what happens to your practice if you have injured your wrists? If you have wrist problems like Carpal Tunnel Syndrome or repetitive strain injuries of course speak to you doctor or physical therapist for specific advice. Practicing these two stretches during through your day can also help to prevent conditions like these:
Here are some stretches that will assist you!
- Thumb side stretch:
Hold your arms out in front of you with your palms facing each other. Tuck in your thumbs and wrap your fingers around them. Then keeping your forearms still, tilt your fists down stretching the sides of the thumb and wrist (see bottom left image). Hold for here for 10-20 seconds.
- At the wall:
Stand facing a wall and place your right palm flat against it with your fingers pointing down - with your left hand very gently pull your right thumb up a little (see bottom right image). Hold here for 10-20 seconds and you can spend more time on the more painful wrist.
- Reverse Prayer:
Bring both hands up together and put the palms together and then reverse the hands so that the back of the hands are facing one another. Push the back of the hands together and start to rotate the wrists up and down, creating space.
- Pulling the wrists:
Take one hand and clasp the outside of the hand as show below and pull both hands apart from one another creating even more space in the joints.
Practice downward facing dog pose at the wall: stand about a leg's distance away from the wall and place your hands flat on it, remembering the alignment principles mentioned above. Keeping your arms straight and in line with your spine start to walk them down the wall until you come into an upside down L-shape.
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