Healing Poses


By Lisa Mulcahy  |  

Being injured is a bummer, but it doesn’t have to doom your asana practice. Think of it as a chance to learn more about yourself and your habits. First get yourself to a health care practitioner for a proper diagnosis. Then find an instructor who can help you modify your practice. In the meantime, if you’ve got wrist pain or sciatica, this chart can help you figure out which poses are good to do and which you should avoid.



INJURY Injury Sciatica Wrist pain
CAUSETight muscles can compress the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lumbar spine down the back of the leg to the toes. (If your sciatica is caused by a lower back or disk injury, the recommended poses won’t be effective.)Carpal tunnel syndrome, tight muscles, or joint problems. See your health care practitioner for a specific diagnosis.
EFFECTShooting painChronic pain
HELPFUL HEALERSAnkle-to-Knee Pose and Pigeon Pose Forward Bend are both effective because they stretch the hip rotator muscles. Triangle and other standing postures where you’re not bearing weight on the hands will maintain balance and keep your lower body strong and mobile.
NO-GO POSESSeated and Standing

Forward Bends
Upward-Facing Dog, Handstand, Half Moon, or any other asanas that put your wrists in an extended position.
ONE MORE THINGIf you’re craving a hamstringstretch, do Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe.As you begin working with your wrist again, use props like foam wedges or Gripitz bars (they look like chunky foam dumbbells).