Some of the most common injuries in yoga are muscle or joint problems, though most problems are mild. Yoga can even be a safe and helpful form of exercise for people with joint issues like rheumatoid arthritis, as long as you know how to modify postures with the help of your yoga teacher.
Here are seven tips to help keep your joints healthy and safe in yoga:
1. Protect your wrists: Spread your hands wide and evenly when your hands bear weight, such as in Downward Facing Dog Pose.
Beginners in yoga often tent their hands in Downward Facing Dog Pose, but this actually makes it more difficult on your hands and wrists. Make sure that your hands are spread wide and ground all corners of your palm on your mat. Your hands should be pressed down firmly enough that someone would not be able to pluck your fingers off the mat.
Dr. David Wei of Orthopaedic & Neurosurgery Specialists in Greenwich, CT, an orthopedic hand surgeon who specializes in injuries of the hand, wrist, and elbow, explains: