A recurring question I receive from yoga students is about issues with wrist discomfort and injuries. Having had a history of wrist injuries due to competitive sports, I am sensitive to how students work with their hands within poses and overall sequencing in the practices. Due to the nature of most hand positions in yoga poses, there is a tendency to collapse into specific areas of the wrist and, without due care, this can lead to detrimental effects.
In just a few weeks, New Year's will be upon us with a wave of 'challenges' being tossed at us left, right and center including for our yoga practices. As wikipedia defines, "A challenge is a general term referring to things that are imbued with a sense of difficulty and victory". The concept of 'difficulty' doesn't resonate much of a positive tone, does it? When achieving some state of victory, then what? Now that I can put my foot suddenly behind my head, am I suddenly that much more closer to enlightenment? Rather than integrating this concept of overcoming 'difficulty', would we not be better served to approach our practice with a sense of opportunity instead?
A pain in the neck, well, is a real 'pain in the neck'. So much of our neck pain originates from lifestyle patterns: sleep, work posture, how we sit at home, head position during gait and exercise. The common mistake to relieve neck pain is to simply stretch out the tension. Instead of addressing the cause of the problem, it can be tempting to just treat the symptoms. Treating 'symptoms' with unmindful stretching can readily be contraindicating and ineffective, such is the case with issues surrounding the suboccipital muscles and forward head syndrome.