Even if you’re regularly stretching and strengthening your body with yoga, there’s one area many of us miss: Our hands and wrists. The practice is particularly important for anyone who spends hours every day typing at work — on on their phone (guilty to both) — to avoid developing pain and cramping, and even help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome.
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Ahead, we’re spotlighting four hand yoga sequences from YouTube that you can try at your desk right now.
First of all, if anyone hurts in this stretch you should stop immediately. Begin by reaching both arms our straight with all of your fingers extended. Then, simply bend your fingers back towards your face and return to flat, like you’re reaching in to give a high five to the computer screen. Repeat several times. Make fists with your hands and make circles inwards, then outwards, and repeat several times. Then shake our your hands and release the tension.
Bring palms together at the heart. Take a look at your hands and see if you can line them up meticulously. Press the palms together at the heart, with the elbows actively moving left to right so there’s a real press you feel right away. Then, take a second to squeeze and massage the wrists with your thumbs. Come to tabletop position and spread palms wide. Wrists should be stacked directly under the shoulders. Choose one hand to look at first and spread the fingertips, and then press knuckles down. Repeat on the other side.
Reach your arms and hands over your head and quickly open and close your hands. Try and close and open fully, and go as fast as you can. Elbows can be a little bit bent. Interlace your fingers and do some little circles while breathing in and out. Then, reach the palms up again and face the palms out, then turn them back in. Keep the fingertips extending nice and wide, and try and feel the full rotation in the wrists. Put your hands in prayer position, press palms together fully, and stretch the hands firmly down, while pointing elbow down to the floor.
Extend your right hand out in front of you with fingers facing down. Take the left hand, reach to the right thumb, and reach back gently until you feel a stretch. Move to your index finger, middle fingers, and so on. You shouldn’t be pulling or yanking, just hold each stretch long enough to feel it. Be sure to relax the shoulders. Keep the hand open so the thumb and pinky finger are as far away from each other as is comfortably possible. Shake your hand out gentle and roll the wrists a couple of times. Repeat on your other hand.