Yoga for Wrists, Arms & Shoulders

The application of Yoga Therapy focuses on the needs of the individual and it meets that individual in their current, unique situation. Due to sedentary lifestyles, most new clients/students have weak upper body strength. Therefore, it is very important to gradually increase the strength of the shoulders, upper back, and especially in the wrists for weight-bearing yoga postures.

Wrist pain is a common problem in yoga. Pain is a conversation of the experience and body. The pain is telling you that it’s not good. If you can figure out the proper alignment and weight, you can strengthen the muscles of the arms, shoulders and the wrist.

Here are a few alignment principles for the hands, arms, and shoulders for Downward Facing Dog, a very common posture weight-bearing yoga posture. I call it Puppy Dog at the wall or with the chair. Maybe one day we can get Taco the puppy to do yoga with me!

  1. Hands placed shoulder width apart, with the middle finger pointing straight up.

  2. Distribute the weight into the fingertips and the base of the fingers, away from the heel of the palm.

  3. Straighten the arms to engage the triceps and squeeze them in.

  4. Broaden across the upper arms and expand the chest.

  5. Firm your shoulder blades against your back then widen them and draw them toward your tailbone.

  6. Keep the head lifted between the arms.

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