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October 09, 2008


Kristen Bruce

I broke my wrist over a year ago trying to skateboard in high-heeled wedge sandals(big mistake). After 2 surgeries I was told that I had to limit use of my wrist to survival use only and 2 lbs maximum. My favorite sun salutation included downward dog, plank, and cobra was now out of the question. Unfortunately this sun salutation and was also the way I would start my at home yoga practice. I loved the benefits of yoga and missed it so much that I tried my favorite sun salutation anyway and was in excruciating pain for a few months. I'm so glad I found this blog. I haven't yet mastered the rhythm of the modified sun salutation, but I can already tell that I will, and thereby re-energize my practice of yoga and other poses not requiring me to use my wrist. Thank you so much, I've missed yoga for quite some time. This is one of the best gifts ever! :-)


This is a great post. I was contemplating going to a free yoga workshop in my neighborhood, but will try your routine at home first. It's much more comfortable to be at home and try this than to sit with a room full of strangers. Thanks for the exersizes.

Libby Andrews

Stick-e Brands has just announced a new product for dealing with wrist pain when doing upper body weight bearing poses. The new Yoga Stick-e Wrist Saver is designed to decrease stress in the wrist joint. By elevating the heel of the hand, the Wrist Saver lessons extreme extension of the wrist making exercies much more comfortable. Check it out at


Its good..see if it works.



Diane Cesa

Hi Felicity --
Great question! If you're looking to strengthen the wrists without strain, you can modify downward dog. You do this by resting the palms on the ground but pressing the pads of the fingers down into the mat so that only the palms and the finger pads/tips are on the ground (the knuckles are bent and the fingers with the exception of the tips are off the ground). The hands take on a bit of a claw-like appearance. This will deliver the benefits of the posture without the strain. I would also go with joint lubrication, stretching exercises before strengthening. Often it's not that the wrists are weak -- it's that they're unstable because of tightness or nerve impingement. Rather than get overly focused on building strength, I work with students/clients on eliminating pain and opening up the area with stretches. I also use props a lot to relieve strain. I hope this is helpful.

Diane Cesa

Hi Tami --
Thank you so much for your comment. I'm thrilled that you found this post to be helpful. If you have any questions you'd like addressed on the blog, feel free to use the Skribit box in the left hand column.


thanks for this post! i have awful wrists and have a recurring ganglion cyst, so this is amazingly helpful!

Felicity Bell

Hi Diane,
Do you have any suggestions for students who suffer wrist pain, but are looking to develop stronger wrists to prevent future injury? I'm thinking of certain postures that require the engagement of the wrists without excessive pressure. While down dog might be too much, perhaps a posture like alternate arm-leg balance or cat/cow might offer the right balance. Suggestions? Thanks!

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