Lately I've been teaching all my yoga classes about wrist health. Since I've had a flair up of wrist and thumb pain myself, I've delved into this topic. Below is a fun & very spot on article. In my classes we have also been playing with vinyasa on our fingertips. Here Annie Carpenter calls it "cupcake hands".
Her most relevant point is that if you can't do a vinyasa on our fingertips, then you're not getting the proper lift through your forearms, armpits and core, and you end up dumping on your wrists & shoulders. So more cupcake hands to come :)
How Cupcake Hands Saved My Vinyasa
BY YJ EDITOR | JUL 16, 2014
I’m seriously questioning why I signed up for a Sun Salutation Lab at Yoga Journal LIVE! in San Diego. I’ve hardly practiced Surya Namaskar since I injured my rotator cuff in those very poses. And, as exhilarated as I used to feel after flowing, my wrists just plain hurt. I blamed it on thin bones, maybe age, and switched to Iyengar.
Here comes Annie Carpenter, a master vinyasa teacher with a personality as bright as the sun and a stature slender like a flamingo. There goes my theory. She asks the class if we have sensitive wrists, elbows or shoulders. Hands fly into the air.
“Perhaps even after four or five days of vinyasa in a row there’s fatigue or strong sensation in some of these joints,” says Carpenter, the creator of SmartFLOW Yoga. “Once you pass, let’s be general and say 30, I think that’s true. I don’t mean to imply you should stop doing vinyasa. I’m only 56 and I do it most days of the week!”
I’m in the right place. The key, she says, starts with cupcake hands. Really, straight from the mouth of Annie Carpenter who’s instructing us to do Child’s Pose on our fingertips like we have two giant cupcakes in our palms.
“It’s a tall cupcake!” she says to a chorus of muffled laughs. “Oh no! There’s smashing of cupcakes.”
Who wants to smash a cupcake? Carpenter says she borrowed the tantalizing term from another teacher because it highlights an important reality; if we don’t have the ability to do a vinyasa on cupcake hands, we’re not getting proper lift of the forearms, armpits and core. If the front body doesn’t have that support we’re dumping on our wrists and shoulders. Check. We venture into Downward-Facing Dog—cradling those cupcakes. (Try it—it’s fun!) Then we move on to a more sustainable hand lock.