We all know what a terrific tool yoga is for decompression. The practice allows us to relieve stress and anxiety to reattain mental equilibrium.
When you practice advanced asana, sometimes yoga can actually cause compression. On a physical level, that is.
Despite my strongest efforts to be incredibly mindful with my alignments, I have had to deal with shoulder and elbow pain for years. And earlier this year, I started suffering debilitating wrist and biceps pain for the first time, as well. So bad, in fact, that I honestly thought my yoga career might be over. Yes, that bad.
Finally, I told my massage therapist (best masseur ever, by the way!) and he said I was suffering from wrist compression. Something I had never even considered, but upon reflection realize that I have been working my one-handed handstand daily and intensely for many years now and, yes, that was when the pain was the worst.
Here’s what I did. And it worked miracles.
I got a pull-up bar.
This one: https://tinyurl.com/bz4ruc2s (this is NOT a paid or sponsored endorsement of any kind…promise!)
All I did to heal my arm was hang on it between OAH’s. No pull-ups, no strength maneuvers. Just simple hangs from all different handles and rotations. Internal and external arm rotations from the parallel and perpendicular grips. Just 3 – 5 breaths at a time.
Girl Scouts’ honor (even though I was never a Girl Scout, I do have honor), the result was basically immediate! From the very first hang, the pain went away from my wrist, all the way up to my shoulder. These days I feel 100% and honestly and truly stronger than ever before (did you see my 51 poses for my 51st birthday??? )!
Now, even though I no longer feel pain, I do the hangs every day between certain handstands, OAH’s, and even Natarajasanas, simply as a preventative measure. Sometimes preventative medicine is the best medicine.