Tips to Help Create Strength in the Wrists and Avoid Wrist Pain during Yoga

This is one of the most common complaints I hear from clients.

Do you have carpal tunnel or do you feel your wrists are sore when you practice yoga in postures like downward dog, cat cow, plank or moving through sun salutations?

I’ve outlined some postures and some tips to help you stretch out the wrists, as well as build strength.

Carpal tunnel syndrome can cause pain in hand, wrist, fingers. It might cause difficulty gripping.

But with the additional strain of computers and devices, we also spend most of our days with our wrists in a flexion and ulnar deviation and when you come to yoga you’re often asked to place your hand in (X position)  which can be difficult

There are few simple exercise you can start to do each day to help with the pain. Please be careful, don’t do any movements which might cause even more pain.


The hand and wrist contains 27 bones

Wrist stretches

When we see clients for KCR we advise that you do these wrists stretches every day. We are all well aware of the amount of time we spend on devices, on top of the usual housework, cooking, driving etc that can cause strain on your wrists anyway and if you go to the gym, lift weights, or carry out work that is desk based this can cause additional strain.

Then you come to yoga and are asked to press the palms of your hand into the floor moving in the opposite direction of many day to day movements.

  • Place your hands in prayer position, pressing the palms together, encourage the heel of the hands to move own without separating the hands, relax the shoulders.

  • Press the backs of the hands together, relaxing the elbows without letting the backs of the hands separate, relax the shoulders.

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This image shows where to press in your hand for minimal pain in the wrist and help to building strength in the forearms to protect the wrist during your yoga practice.

Our default without thinking can be to press down through the heel of the hand (red area) putting more pressure onto the heel of the hand and adding further pain in the carpal tunnel area. Putting additional weight on the heel of the hand it will also affect the arm and shoulders.

PLEASE NOTE: When experiencing any pain or discomfort, avoid poses that cause you to put strain on the wrists or modify them so that you have some support with props so the pose doesn't cause you any pain.

Be patient, become aware of your body and help to support, over time you’ll notice improvements.


Try these yoga postures while focussing on pressing down firmly in the green parts, medium in orange area, avoid collapsing in the wrist, suction the palm and don’t allow the web of the hand to lift . . . simple as that!! Not really, it takes practice . . . try the postures below practising wrist stretches in between. Stop if you feel any pain or modify the postures.


Sit with the legs outstretched in front of you

  • Inhale bend your right knee, place the sole of the foot on the floor and then as you exhale lower the knee towards the floor placing the sole of the foot to the inside of the thigh.  

  • The leg that’s extended, flex the left foot, press the top of the thigh down

  • Inhale and lengthen the spine, as you exhale fold forward from the hips and fold over the extended leg.

  • Keep your spine long, chest open and shoulder blades drawn down. Relax your face and jaw.

  • Take hold of your foot, ankle or wherever your hands reach on your leg.

  • Stay in the pose for 5 to 10 breaths.

  • Inhale to come out of the pose and switch sides.

  • Sit up on a folded blanket if you find it difficult to sit up straight, it’s helps with the tilt of the pelvis

  • Do Not force the pose, be careful if you have a lower back injury.

  • Always listen to your body


  • Calms the mind.

  • Stimulates digestion.

  • Stretches the hips, back of the body and groins.

  • Relieves menstrual discomfort.

  • Stimulates the kidneys and liver

DOWNWARD FACING DOG - Adho Mukha Svanasana

  • Start on all fours, palms flat on the mat. Align hands under shoulder, knees under hips.

  • Spread fingers wide and focus on where you are placing pressing through the hands.

  • Inhale, Exhale, tuck toes and life hips up high, draw sit bones back towards the wall behind you.

  • Press the floor away from you, lengthen the spine, upper arms and shoulder broaden, forearms hug in.

  • Keep a bend in your knees to start and if it feels right, gradually start to lengthen the legs. Making an upside down letter V shape. Keep length in the spine, if this is not possible, keep knees bent.

  • Feel belly button and ribs drawn in.

  • Keep the focus on hands and wrists, holding downward dog as long as you can while maintaining the correct alignment to build strength.

  • Breathe


  • Calms the mind.

  • Energises the body

  • Lengthens the spine

  • Stretches and strengthens the upper back, chest and shoulders

  • Stretches the back of the body - spine, hamstring, calves.

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You can find details of our yoga classes based in Central Scotland - West Lothian / North Lanarkshire HERE.

If you feel you are experiencing pain, a Kinetic Chain Release (KCR) treatment can help to alleviate pain from injuries or repetitive strain. You can find out more here or book a treatment. The Barn,ML7 5TT, Central Scotland, UK.



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Hello, I’m obsessed with my new puppy Riley, I could eat pancakes for breakfast everyday and I’m obsessed with helping others feel their best by alleviating pain through yoga, hands on treatments and Ayurveda.