inc. Susan Bysh's Trigger point protocol for avoiding pain in arm balanced etc.
NB: the videos in this post are just for illustration and can all be skipped
I seem to have 'gymnasts wrist', or something like it, first time for me... anyone know how long it lasts and what worked for them for a speedy recovery. Probably came from switching back suddenly to full Primary in the shala after a year of half taken more slowly ie. twice as many jump backs. Not too big a deal I think and no problem adapting them out for a while but a little tiresome. - perhaps a blog post on this in the next few days
The Video below is probably a fair representation of how I practice Sun salutations in the shala, there's some light on the hands to show my general practice/technique too. Further down in the post is the Krishnamacharya long stay approach I've been taking at home, one sury takes 12 minutes or so, less jumping but still a lot of weight bearing. This is the first time though that I've had this kind of wrist problem.
Cause, Avoidance and therapy
My friends Illya and Mick sent some links to articles that look at possible causes and some therapy.
Thank you to Illya for this
Yoga therapy for the wrists
Working With Wrist Pain in Yoga?
In the article David looks closely at
Three Common Postures
Upward Facing Dog
Downward Facing Dog
Particularly interesting to me is Chatauranga as in the Krishnamacharya approach I'm spending a minute in it.
David has a nice section in the article on hand placement and that has come up several times in the advice below. I notice that my hands are spread nicely so the weight is evenly spread and I tend to employ the pushing the ground away approach that Natasha mentions however do seem to have this bad habit of having my middle two fingers together, bit like a three toed sloth (three toed sloths understand about slow practice).
Some good general advice from my friend Gilad
Ilya's and David's info is very useful.
Sometimes we forget that
1. We are not getting any younger everyday .
2. The hands are intended mainly for micro and intricate movements, and not for weight-bearing jobs.MAINLY.
Just compare the hands and the feet, and note the weight-bearing sector, and also the idea that we are walking on feet, not hands.
Most likely, you are right - switched too abruptly into full Vinyasa after a long time of not doing that. And, the whole idea of Ashtanga practice being a"hand standing" practice is greatly exaggerated. PAIN IS ILLEGAL!
After all, it does produce suffering.
Modify what causes pain, it's a good time for practicing Abhyasa and Vairagya .
Use a little soft squashy ball that fits in your palm, Palm open backwards on the table, and close your fist over the ball with moderated strength OBSERVING the palm.
Find out the right amount of repetitions.
And this from Stephan
I've recently been dealing with this as well, and I do believe it is linked in my case to "floating."
Like you, I employ long slow breaths, movements, and long holds.
I used a combination of Simon Borg-Olivier's mani bandha movements, some wrist warm up techniques, including something similar to what Paul Belizere describe (below), except I don't use newspaper, I just expand my hands and then make fists at a relatively quick but not too quick pace.
Finally, I practice the last ulpluthi on my fists.
I also massage extensor carpi radials trigger point (see below).
Finally, I am one who takes seriously the gymnastics aspects of the practice and have begun more traditional gymnastics conditioning work to strengthen the wrists and avoid placing my shoulders too far forward over the wrist.
Additionally, I've also taken lots of time to integrate Simon Borg-Olivier's approach to using weight via leaning of the hips and armpits (as described in his 17 part video which you posted) to facilitate a more effortless press, pick up, and float.
In all it took about one month until I could press up again without pain, but some days it is still tender (so I take it easy on those days).
More Hints tips on Techniques and general practice came in...
...try not to put all your weight on the wrist but to distribute it over the all hand. Sometimes if you look at how you press the hans on the floor you see that the base of the thumb and first (?) fingers are not used very much as support.
Use more serrates anterior when jumping/floating and keep it out the wrist
and my teacher Kristina Karitinou
Please keep the fingers open and apart.the thump must be away from the fingers and push the point between finger and thump strongly on the floor!
and also Natasa
...always push the ground away (power comes from scapula) and change regulary the placment of the hand - use the fingers. Kristina tip is also very fine...Hope you feel fine soon.
Peg recommended David's ultimate cure outlined in full in the article above
Ice bucket. hold in for 1-2 minutes at a time. more if you can stand but I'm a big baby and never make it !!
The video below is of the Krishnamacharya type approach to Sun Salutations I tend to take at home with the longer stays - Yeah, it's actual speed, 12 minutes for one Suryanamaskara, akin to watching paint dry. i got all floaty for the video but don't tend to bother especially for just the one. In the shala this week I was having so much fun practicing the sury's again that I through in some general floatyness.
More Therapy and a bit of magic
Trigger Point therapy
from Susan Bysh
Try massaging extensor carpi radialis trigger point, in the meaty part of the top of the forearm, near the elbow....
If that is tender then bingo.
And it worked, just like that! A few minutes messaging the trigger point and the pain was gone, I'd come back to it every now and again and especially in the morning before practice and all was pretty much well again. i didn't want to over do it so settled for just a couple of light sury's and and the first half of Ashtanga 2nd ( less jump back anyway), just stepping back and forth, had a nice practice.
by Clair Davies
|Check out Maya's review at Mayaland|
And here's some more from Susan about what's going on with trigger points.
I think the wrist ones are some of the more obvious and convincing ones…. it seems like magic at first, but then you become very aware of the connections between the two areas and it all begins to seem obvious…. yes this muscle moves that part of the hand, and if it seizes up in a moment of stress or becomes traumatised, I will feel the effect in the hand, of course'….
And then we have learned something about the body at a deep intuitive level. The beauty of it also is that one can test the other side - hmmm no hand pain and no tender spot in the muscle on that side, pretty convincing. Or, if the muscle is a little tender on the other side too, then we can take preventative action!!
So extensor carpi radialis for pain on the top of the thumb side of the wrist… and the other common pain area is the underside of the pinky side, and for that we massage flexor carpi ulnaris, both up by the elbow and also down nearer the hand where it gets kind of ropey/tendinous. With this protocol I have had no wrist trouble in a couple of years despite all the arm balances and handstands, I just massage FCU on both sides a little each day.
Susan Bysh is an Authorised Level 2 Ashtanga teacher and an old friend, some may remember her excellent and much missed blog.
She teaches in London at Yoga place
Picture hasn't been changed on the website yet so how about this 'wristy' one.
|Susan Bysh - Mysore : Photo by Alessandro Sigismondi of Digital Drishti|
More tips/suggestions came in that I would have liked to have tred but by then the problem was under control.... and Paul, what's a newspaper ( can I get the same effect from opening and closing my macbook)?
...take a large sheet of a newspaper in your hand by a corner and make a tight ball of it using just your fingers and the movement of your wrist, do that everyday with one or two sheets. It will strengthen all your digits' tendons, the muscle which activate the fingers in the forearm, thoroughly warm up and energise your hands and rid you of any pain (even carpal syndrome).
I had a similar problem for years, after trying everything physiotherapists etc and nothing working I was advised by a friend and clever person to up my magnesium. I did and as well as calcium and vitamin d (plus a bit of natto for k2) after two months not a trace of a problem. The lump on my wrist has gone and even when I do things that would previously have caused pain for days nothing. Now it may just be coincidence and correlation is not causation but I'm fairly sure that's what helped my joint heal itself.
|I remember my grandmother having one of these.... now I know why.|
Feel free to 'jump in' with a comment below if you have anything to add. Even though the problem seems to be sorted out there's lots of good advice and suggestions here that somebody else might find useful. Feel free to look at any of the videos below and tear into my general technique and practice...
That said, all the fun, the flourishes, the general floatyness and party tricks helped me to build my discipline, helped at those times when the enthusiasm was flagging. They certainly have their place apart from selling workshops and promoting webpages. According to the Yoga for the Three Stages of life theory, in the first and second stages it's perfectly acceptable to focus more on our asana practice, our strength, health and fitness, to work on building discipline, exploring tapas, building resolve in yama and niyama and introducing pranayama and meditative practices. However, it's in the third stage of life that those later limbs will come more to the fore when we are free from the burdens of the householder and can retreat to the metaphorical if not actual forest.
Nice reminder in comments of how in Martial arts the wrists and other joints are often warmed up by being rotated this way and that. I remember this from my old Ashtanga days, it's also a warm up practice in Shadow yoga.
Here's the Shadow Yoga Warmup with Emma Balnaves
Shadow yoga was developed by Shandor Remete who studied Yoga with Krishnamacharya as well as having a background in Martial art and Dance.