When you want to do Yoga but your wrists say NO

In Yoga classes and especially Vinyasa Yoga class, we often do poses that require holding weight on the wrists. Fantastic Four: Chaturanga, Plank, Up Dog, Down Dog can be exhausting to our wrists after a while. I have the same problems, even when my wrists are pretty strong and stable. Halfway through a hardcore Vinyasa Yoga class, I can still move on but my wrists start feeling unsure.

I guess you have the same problems too? Especially, nowadays if you work in modern jobs that don't require pushing up or climbing trees, then the wrists become weak. Carpa tunnel syndrome has become more common and weakening our wrists.

However, I have some ways to still do Yoga without torturing your wrists. If you have wrists pain or wrists problems, these modifications can help. But still, come and see a doctor to know what's going on.

I suggest using styrofoam Yoga blocks that exist in every single Yoga studio I have attended. They are very easy, basic and they are much beneficial to practicing Yoga poses.


Instead of pressing your hands flat on the floor, you can grab on styrofoam blocks. I like this modification and I do it myself in a Vinyasa class with lots of Vinyasa when my wrists are tired. This is helpful when you don't really have serious problems with the wrists. Make sure the blocks are hard enough to support your wrists. Some blocks could be so soft that your wrists start sinking into the block - not so good for the wrist joints. Be careful and check out if the blocks will slide before you do easy-to-slide poses like Downward Facing Dog.


If bending your wrist (joint movement term: wrist extension) and put weight on it is painful, then don't do that. Keep your wrists straight and bear weight with fists. It can hurt pressing your knuckles on the hard floor, styrofoam blocks are softer.


If your wrists say absolutely NO to anything, then you can bear weight with your forearm. Try doing it on styrofoam blocks too, your elbows will not hit the hard floor and your wrists are totally free. Moreover, the blocks will give some height that you may need in poses like Downward Facing Dog - you are still on your forearms but it's still almost as high up as a Down Dog and not as a Dolphin pose when your elbows are on the floor.

Now I'm not having blocks in my Yoga classes for reasons, however, I really hope to equip blocks in the near future because they are awesome tools in doing the Asana.

Photos from a book I'm writing: PROP UP! How to make every Yoga pose doable. I'm writing in Vietnamese first because ideas flow smoothly in my mother tongue. English edition will come, after very much editing.

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