The way you position your hands on the ground impacts not only the rest of the posture but also the health of your joints. Teacher trainer Alexandria Crow breaks down what this commonly used cue misses about doing it safely and how you can do better.
A gymnast for most of my youth, I walked around on my hands a lot. And I learned a long time ago that if I wanted a certain position to work out, I’d have to place my hands really well and I’d have to learn how to use them as if they were my feet.
When I became a yoga practitioner, I discovered the hand placement in asana often contradicted what I had learned in gymnastics. It all felt very counterintuitive. Being the questioner of all things that I am, over the years I began to break the rules. By positioning my hands differently from the way my teachers told me to, I found alignment that worked better for my shoulders and elbows.
“Place your hands shoulder-distance apart with your wrist creases parallel to the front of the mat.” That’s what I was told to do and also to say as a teacher. When I began to notice my students fighting to keep their inner hands down and their shoulders in the proper rotation, I knew something was amiss.
Also see Learn How to Protect Your Wrists in Yoga Practice