Soreness in Arm Balance Poses

A Variety of Potential Causes

If students experience wrist soreness in any arm balance pose, the cause could be:

  1. Improper alignment
  2. Lacking core strength needed for the variation being practiced
  3. Lacking wrist strength needed to bear body weight
  4. Wrists not accustomed to that degree of extension
  5. History of wrist issues, such as carpal tunnel syndrome

Teaching Considerations

Clearly, different approaches are needed to address wrist issues based on the cause. Considerations include:

  1. Practice wrist stretches beforehand.
  2. Select a variation that meets individual needs.
  3. Practice on a firm surface. Too much cushioning causes excessive wrist extension.
  4. When appropriate, practice forearm version if weight-bearing on wrists should be avoided (such as with carpal tunnel syndrome). For example, Side Plank Pose can be replaced with a forearm variation and Dolphin Pose can replace Down Dog.
  5. Ensure proper alignment. For example, not grounding evenly through the palm can cause strain, and, in Side Plank Pose, improper sinking into shoulder of grounded arm increases pressure on wrist.
  6. Practice regularly to develop core and wrist strength.