The most common yoga injuries are injuries of repetition. How do I know this is true? Because I’ve hurt my wrist. Again.
I practiced vinyasa yoga on Saturday. The sun salutations and chaturangas felt really good. I haven’t done them in a long time, and I fully enjoyed them. My wrists didn’t bother me. I felt strong. I even practiced extended angle with the bind, which used to be my nemesis pose.
The next morning, I woke up with wrist pain. Not a dull ache, but pain that zinged, near my thumb. This made texting hard (woe is me) and also the New York Times crossword app, to which I am addicted. But more than that, my wrist objected to any flexation. No chaturangas for me. I even had to forgo downward facing dog (by coming down to my elbows and practicing dolphin).
It is so annoying to get injured. It makes me mad at myself. How could I be so stupid, doing all those vinyasas on Saturday? Did I miss something? Did I perhaps move un-mindfully through a vinyasa? Did I feel a twinge or anything in my wrist, and did I ignore it?
I don’t think so, but then again, I was feeling really good on Saturday. There is a chance that my wrist was talking to me (quietly) and I didn’t listen. My right wrist is problematic–this isn’t the first time I’ve had issues with it.
In the past, when my wrist hurt, I’ve worn an Ace bandage wrist guard during practice. It helps, despite making me feel like Melissa McCarthy in Bridesmaids, if she practiced yoga. I have also taught my classes how to practice downdog with hands on blocks, because the blocks ease my own wrist discomfort. Last December I saw a specialist about the tingling in my right hand and got tested for carpal tunnel syndrome. The results showed it is a mild case, and I would probably recover by using a wrist brace at night.
Why does my wrist hurt like this?
I’m left with the question: Why does my wrist hurt like this? What is the lesson here?
I have learned that pain exists to lead us to our expansion.
How does that apply when it comes to my wrist? Well, since no answers come readily, I can start the process of discovery:
- My wrist is delicate, and I need to take better care of it. The word “delicate” implies something dainty and fragile, and I don’t think of myself that way, but I definitely have a child-sized wrist.
- I need to start wearing my Ace wrist brace during practice again, and wearing the Walgreen’s brace every night.
- I’m getting older. Sigh. Don’t even want to contemplate this one.
- Maybe it’s time to say goodbye to vinyasa? Maybe this is my cue to let it go completely? No, I don’t want to–I like vinyasa!
- Maybe I let my ego take over during practice, and I need to keep it in check.
My point is this: our bodies are talking to us all the time. It is easy to ignore the messages, and sometimes when we do, we end up with pain. The challenge is to discover the root of the pain, and let it lead us into our expansion. My wrist pain is just a small example, and I haven’t yet dug deeply enough to figure it out. But as long as the pain is there, I need to address it.
How about you? Have you had a similar experience? Leave a note for me in the comments section.