Arthritis of the Wrists & Hands and Yoga

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we explore asana considerations for supporting students with arthritis of the wrists or hands.


Be prepared to choose, adapt and sequence poses to support students with arthritis of the wrists or hands.


Note the most commonly affected joints with arthritis of the wrists and hands. Note the factors associated with an increased risk of arthritis and how yoga can serve as proactive, preventative care. Provide advice for when there is wrist pain and soreness and a general approach for after pain and soreness has subsided. Since there are many poses that require wrist extension and few that require flexion, explain how to counter that imbalance. Describe a readiness test that may be used before practicing poses requiring 90 degrees of wrist extension. Name poses that put a lot of pressure on wrists. List guidelines to consider for weight-bearing alignment of hands. Provide stretches for improving ROM in wrists, and pose variations and alternatives for wrist issues. Discuss propping to support wrist issues. Note the proper alignment when using fists instead of palms for weight-bearing and an additional benefit of using fists. Provide additional options and considerations for accommodating wrist issues.

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