A common complaint in yoga is "My wrists hurt!" From downward facing dog to plank to lunges, our hands are on the mat,bearing at least some of the body's weight, for a significant portion of the time in a yoga class. It's unavoidable, but wrist pain isn't!
How to Avoid Pain in the Wrists
It's simple really, and all comes down to two things, alignment and repetition. The more you practice with CORRECT alignment, the stronger your wrists become, and the less pain you experience. So what is proper wrist alignment? The first cue I always give is "spread the fingers WIDE". If you think they are wide, try widening them even further until you simply can't go any more. Next, check that both your middle fingers are pointing straight forward. Then, instead of collapsing weight into the heel of the palm, grip with the finger tips and base of the knuckles. This distributes the weight properly, and will ultimately create a sound foundation for arm balancing poses.
Time and Practice
As with most things, the pain probably won't go away overnight. Consistent repetition will help you find relief and build the strength needed in the wrists. A simple home vinyasa practice, with constant awareness of proper engagement and alignment in the wrists and hands will give faster results. Beginning in plank, exhale and lower the body (taking knees to ground if needed) until biceps are parallel to mat, inhale and press shoulders up to upward facing dog, exhale and press hips back into downward facing dog. Repeat this vinyasa up to 10 times, or until you begin to experience any wrist pain. At that point STOP! Pushing through pain will not benefit you, but instead slow the healing and strengthening process.