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Week 3 – Wrist Work & Arm Balancing

I don’t think I have ever spent 2 consecutive days of practice sessions doing arm balances and poses/drills that require weight on the wrists at a 90-degree angle. The most I have ever done would be practising during the peak pose of a yoga class, which would be like 5-10 minutes at most?

The intensive practice of Side Crow/EPK 1/Fallen Angel brought out an issue that I discover now – my palm placement and grip. I’ve listened to teachers telling me to ‘claw my finger pads into the mat’, but I think my lack of awareness of this crucial part led me to having wrist pain for the rest of the week – not to let the meaty part between the thumb and the index finger lift off the ground. If my wrists hurt after that, it means that I was doing it wrong.

Got a little confused throughout the week as to how to grip correctly and was observing random yoga videos and googling as well. I have been clawing such that my knuckles might lift off and for a few days I thought that I had been interpreting previous advice wrongly. After clarifying with Jess, I was enlightened on the crucial ‘meaty part’, which is important not to be lifted off the ground. Otherwise, the weight would not be evenly distributed across the palms, but more on the outside of the palms and the wrists – I really don’t want to go through this pain again. I already have enough ailments as it is lol.

I also need a lot of work on strengthening my forearms to enable me to hold in my arm balances longer and stronger. My friends ached in their forearms on the subsequent days but I didn’t? That means I was engaging the wrong parts/not engaging at all, therefore my wrists hurt badly from all the weight in the wrong places. I think I also have tight forearms because I can’t flex my hands till a 90-degree angle to my forearm.

Pain aside, it was extremely gratifying to be able to transition from Side Crow to EPK 1 and then to Fallen Angel. Milestone unlocked, yay 🙂

Michelle Cheung
200 Hour YTT Feb-May’21

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