Do you sit and type all day at your computer? I do, it sometimes seems. How about repetitive tasks that leave you feeling like you couldn’t possibly repeat them again? For today’s practice we will go over a simple yogic technique you can practice anywhere to help alleviate carpal tunnel and experience those hand cramps – no more!
You can practice this particular set of movements anywhere: in your office, on the bus, airplane, in bed, the shower, even on the toilet. As long as you can stretch your arms out in front of you, there is plenty of space for these powerful mobility movements.
First, sit upright with your spine erect. It is always a good habit to get into to straighten your spine before any yoga practice. It brings strength to the spine and awareness to the spinal cord and subtle energy passageways that run through the spine, thereby preparing you for every yoga practice you do. All yoga incorporates the spine at it’s core, some referring to the spinal cord as the ‘staff of life.’
With the spine now consciously lifted, take a moment to close your eyes and breathe a few breaths to relax the body. Notice any tightness or tension and using your exhale breath, simply blow out the stress, allowing yourself to become looser, more flexible and ready for the poses.
- Stretch out your arms now at shoulder height and extend the fingers wide apart with palms facing forward. Inhale, as if you could breathe breath in through the tips of your fingers and then on the exhale, clench the hands into fists. This movement actually strengthens the thoracic plexus which brings oxygen into the lungs. Repeat 7-10 times remembering to use the breath as part of the movement. When you are complete, move onto the next movement.
- Extending fingers up toward the ceiling with fingers close together, press the palms forward as if you were pushing against a wall in front of you and inhale. On the exhale, lower the fingers toward the floor, bending at the wrists and again, press now through the backs of the hands as if against a wall. Repeat with the breath 7-10 more times.
- Now, create a loose fist with your hands, fingers facing the floor. Begin to rotate the wrists slowly together without rotating the arms. Imagine you have a coins on the tops of your wrists and you don’t want to drop them. Breathe an inhale breath for half the circle and exhale around the rest of the way. After 7-10 rounds, reverse the movement. Slowly, mindfully, keep rotating. When you have completed this direction try rotating the wrists in a mirror image, apart and together.
When you are finished with these practices, lower the arms down to rest on your legs and close your eyes for a moment to notice the effects. You should be able to feel increased blood flow in the wrists and hands. Continued practice of these simple poses will not only support strong wrists and help prevent symptoms of carpal tunnel, but can help reverse an already developed condition.
Practice daily and as often as you are able, at least twice a day for severe symptoms.
Here is a video demonstrating the technique.
Written by: Stasia Bliss