Having a fractured wrist has been my great teacher since December 1st! Whenever a set-back comes along, it shines a new light on postures and gives me added knowledge to pass on to injured souls in classes. In any case, at some point your wrists may need some attention. Keyboard warriors and people who use their hands in their job or sport (cyclists) may have short and tight wrist flexors. Chaturanga, Upward Facing Dog and other weight-bearing postures need flexibility in the wrist – a 90 degree extension. This is problematic!
The posture revelation for me and my ‘intra-articular minimally displaced distal radius fracture’ (!) was in Padangusthasana and Padahastasana. Those are the forward fold postures where you start with holding your big toes and end up with the whole of your hand under the foot with toes up to the wrists. Who knew these postures could be something more than Total Hamstring Torture?
In the first one, Padangustasana, you grab hold of your big toes and PULL, despite the hamstrings begging for mercy! That’s a wrist stretch. For people with wrist pain or Carpal Tunnel, traction of the wrist might correspond to an exercise your physio has given you. (Here is wrist traction cleverly using a belt).
In the second of this pair of postures, Padahastasana, the hands and wrists get a counter-posture for the Chaturanga wrist work of the Sun Salutations. This posture has wrist stretch/traction, massage via the toes on the wrists, and stimulation of the meridians (I’m told) or hand reflexology. To get the full benefit to the wrist, let the hands totally disappear under the foot. Bend the knees if you must.
Finally, this wonderful article by David Keil looking at postures associated with wrist pain concludes that a hand and forearm ice bath will do the trick and rid you of wrist pain. Have a go! (I also bought a Power Web for strengthening. See attachment.)
Soothing Kapsali awaits but before I firm up details of this year’s retreat please let me know if you’d like to come for the first week’s Yoga For All Levels retreat. I’m not sure if there is demand. The second week’s Ashtanga Retreat has had a lot of interest; the massive pull factor is our mission impossible teacher Lisa Maarit Lischak. I plan to choose the second and third week of September again. Have a look at last week’s email if you want to see an example of flights. Many returners sign up yearly but if you haven’t been before, “Kythera is a truly divine, special place”, said one yogi last year. Last year there was a particular magic when we did evening candle-lit Yin Yoga so I’ll add more of that this year.
Next week in my lucky Home Study is a magic week. It starts with my 7th anniversary of teaching and ends (Thursday) with Valentine’s Day. What could be better? There’s plenty of space. You can see class availability on my website (which I update often).
Yoga in the news
The Daily Mail tells us that: Yoga could help millions of arthritis patients. A study of 72 sufferers, published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, ‘found the ancient exercise slashes inflammation and reduces pain in the joints of sufferers after just eight weeks’. The paper says that ‘Scientists are currently unsure as to the exact cause of rheumatoid arthritis, but smoking, eating lots of red meat and coffee drinkers are at higher risk’.