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Yoga for Arthritic Hands


Yoga requires a lot of our wrists and hands.  Not grabbing or picking things up like we do in daily life, but a lot of weight bearing activities on our hands and wrists.  If that’s an arthritic hotspot for you, that’ a problem.


The infographic above covers a bunch of ways you can still practice yoga with arthritic hands or wrists.


Option #1 - Change the angle of weight bearing on your wrists.  You can do this with a wedge or by folding back the front edge of your mat.


Option #2 - Take the weight off the palms.  The first picture shows cupcake hands which requires some arm strength but provides a nice practice variation.  Coming to your fists prevents any strain from finger extension.  Moving out of all fours in either of these adaptations is more problematic.  Down dog in cupcake hands is very demanding of the fingers and requires quite a bit of strength.  Staying on your fists in down dog is not proper alignment for wrists and you shouldn’t do it.


Option #3 - Remove the hands and wrists from the equation.  If you come on to the forearms, the hands and wrists are non weight bearing.  Your placement with your hands is up to you based on what feels good and where you’re going as you move through your practice.  Note that coming up into a forearm down dog (dolphin variation) requires a lot of upper body strength and length in the triceps which women tend to lack.  It’s a great way for us to practice because of those points but respect yourself and build up slowly.


Option #4 - Prop the forearms to keep your back level.  This is kinder to the hips, less weight bearing in the elbows and builds a different level of body awareness.


I hope these variations provide you some practice options.  Arthritis in your hands and wrists doesn’t have to keep you from practicing.  I speak from experience.  Namaste.


This post was shared on the Chronic Friday Link up here.

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4 Responses to Yoga for Arthritic Hands

  1. I think these tips are great and will be very helpful. Whenever I am on the floor, playing with my son and propping myself up, I always go onto my fists like you showed. Maybe I can start Yoga again…..thanks for joining the #weekendblogshare

    • Of course I would encourage you to do yoga again!! See if you could find a gentle class in your area or a family class that you could do with your son. Thanks for the appreciative comments :))

  2. WOW! Thank you so much for this article! My hands KILL me almost all the time, but ESPECIALLY during a flare! Great tips! Thanks for partying at Chronic Friday Linkup ~ Pinned/Tweeted/Shared

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