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Alleviate Wrist Tendonitis Pain With This Gentle Yoga Sequence

As yogis, we often put a lot of load on our wrist joints. Weight-bearing postures like Downward Facing Dog, Upward Facing Dog, and Plank are ubiquitous in yoga classes around the world. Throw in elusive arm balances like Crow or Handstand and all your weight lands on your wrists!

Repetitive stress on the tendons of the wrist can sometimes cause conditions like wrist tendonitis – inflammation or swelling of the tissues connecting muscle to bone.

The good news is we can use yoga as an antidote to combat wrist tendonitis whenever it flares up.

Everyday activities like writing with a pen, cooking with utensils, working with tools, typing or swiping on your phone, and/or working out in a fitness or yoga class can exacerbate existing tension on the wrists.

While yoga is not the only cause of wrist tendonitis, we know weight-bearing poses can potentially cause unwanted stress on the wrist joint.

But the good news is we can also use the practice of yoga as an antidote to these issues and combat wrist tendonitis whenever it flares up.

Wrist Pain In Yoga? Try This Sun Salutation Variation (Photo Tutorial)


Ease Wrist Tendonitis With These 10 Yoga Poses:

To start, properly warm up your body with a Sun Salutation variation to avoid any load on the wrist joints. ​​

Next, practice the following 10 exercises to help alleviate wrist tendonitis.

1. Seated Wrist Flexion and Extension

This gentle exercise helps to mobilize your wrists.
seated with wrist extension
Let’s try it:

  • In a comfortable seated position, extend your arms out into the space in front of you
  • Make fists as if you were about to punch a punching bag and then move your knuckles up and down to flex and extend your wrist joints
  • Repeat this pattern for five to 10 breath cycles


2. Seated Wrist Rolls

Another gentle exercise, these simple rolls can help to alleviate wrist tendonitis pain.

Let’s try it:

  • Once the previous exercise is completed, start to roll your wrists in a circular motion inward and then outward
  • Repeat the circular action in each direction a few times before you release


3. Seated Flashing Lights

Continue to mobilize your wrists for increased mobility and circulation.
seated with flashlights1

seated with flashlights2
Let’s try it:

  • After completing the previous exercise, mimic the action of flashing headlights with your hands
  • Squeeze your fists tightly and then spread your fingers out wide in a repetitive manner
  • Repeat this action as quickly or as slowly as you can manage and release after a few cycles of breath


4. Table Top With Flashing Lights

This position gradually adds load to your wrists.
Table Top with Flashing Lights
Let’s try it:

  • From a seated position, come onto your hands and knees
  • Place your palms face up with your fingertips touching
  • Repeat the previous flashing lights exercise in a table top position


5. Table Top With Wrist Extension

tabletop with wrist extension
Use this pose to stretch deeper to relieve tension from wrist tendonitis.

Let’s try it:

  • In a table top position, rotate your hands on the mat so your fingers face your thighs
  • Slowly shift your hips back a few inches towards your heels, increasing the extension of your wrists
  • Breathe here for five breaths and then release



6. Plank With Wrist Extension

plank with wrist extension
Add even more load to your wrists in Plank.

Let’s try it:

  • From a table top position, place your hands palms face down and directly beneath your shoulders
  • Option to stay in a table top position for a modified approach or begin to lift your knees and extend your legs straight back behind you into Plank
  • Stay here for five breath cycles


7. Table Top With Forearm Massage

Relieve any built-up tension from wrist tendonitis that may have spread into your forearms with this gentle self-massage.
Tabletop with Forearm Release
Let’s try it:

  • From a table top position, bend one elbow and rest your forearm facing upward on the floor
  • Trace your opposite elbow down your forearm and gently massage the flesh of your forearm from elbow to wrist
  • Take as much time as you need with this action and remember to breathe
  • Repeat the same exercise on the other side

Reduce Wrist Pain In Your Yoga Practice With This Video Tutorial

8. Flipped Forearm Plank

forearm plank inverted wrist
Build back strength in your wrist, forearms, and shoulders with this variation of Forearm Plank.

Let’s try it:

  • From a table top position, place both of your forearms shoulder-distance apart and parallel to the sides of your mat
  • Externally rotate your forearms and turn your palms to face the sky
  • Option to stay in a table top position for a modified approach or begin to lift your knees and extend your legs straight back behind you into Forearm Plank
  • Stay here for five breath cycles


9. Standing With Wrist Wave

Find mobility and strength around your wrists with this fun dance move.
Standing Wrist Wave
Let’s try it:

  • Stand up and interlace your fingers together
  • Create a wave like motion with your hands and fingers interlaced
  • Repeat the same wave movement pattern in the opposite direction and breathe


10. Standing With Inverted Palm Interlaced Grip

Give your wrists one final release with this simple pose.
standing with inverted palms
Let’s try it:

  • Stay standing, interlace your fingers and flip your palms away from your body
  • On an inhalation, extend your arms straight up and overhead
  • On an exhalation, release the grip and relax your arms alongside your body
  • Repeat the same pattern with the opposite interlacing of your fingers


Alleviate Wrist Tendonitis Pain With This Gentle Yoga Sequence

Once you’ve completed this practice, be sure to enjoy a few minutes of stillness in Savasana. Practice this sequence whenever wrist tendonitis flares up and incorporate these tips and tricks into your asana practice.

Do Your Wrists Hurt In Yoga? Here’s How to Modify 5 Common Yoga Poses for Wrist Pain

Of course, there is no substitute for rest, so if you feel like you need a break, take it! Please be sure to consult a medical professional for further guidance on your wrist tendonitis issues.

All included information is not intended to treat or diagnose. The views expressed are those of the author and should be attributed solely to the author. For medical questions, please consult your healthcare provider.

Is Working at a Desk Hurting More Than Just Your Wrists?

If you spend a lot of time at a desk, you will enjoy and benefit from Undo the Desk with Ashton August on YouAligned Classes!

Yoga Class
With Ashton August


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Denelle Numis

Denelle Jarro Numis is an advanced yoga teacher (E-RYT 500) based in San Francisco, California. In addition to her yoga credentials, Denelle has a B.S., an MBA, a love of travel and an impassioned zest for life. To learn more about Denelle check out her website or follow her on Instagram.

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