Monday, May 10, 2010


I’ve been feeling angry with my body lately. Terrible allergies, restless unfulfilling sleep, and now my wrist hurts during practice. The wrist is so essential to yoga and I automatically think of the worst possible scenarios. Ugh!

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” 

(And the burn is even worse if the person you are angry at is yourself!)

In theory, letting go of anger is the thing to do…but it is HARD in practice!


  1. Really knowing anger, I find it is an energy, a call from a part of the mind/self/body that needs some sort of attention/compassion. Often anger stems from wanting things things to be different. That uncomfortable feeling anger, it would be so nice to blame it on another person or something outside one's self(does this really work?). And then there is righteous anger about feeling wronged. For the moments we lash out in anger, that feeling can be so powerful, and so damaging(honeyed crest and poisoned root-Buddha). Such damage, such sorrow, so much suffering is created this way, the parade of horribles.
    Or in the noticing of anger can this energy be dealt with some skill and compassion. With noticing we create some space and are not blinded by anger's heat. This is not easy work, it is very difficult. We all suffer and there is such attachment to being healthy as the "good".

  2. I'm SO sorry to hear your wrist is still bothering you. I feel the same anger at myself and fear of my wrist injury permanently taking me out of the practice. After much trial and error and advice from our teacher, here are the modifications that I've found help me when my wrist is acting up:

    1. If it's really bad: I do sun salutations at the wall. Then I hold all of the standing poses for 10 breaths each. I skip all of the vinyasas and hold the seated poses longer than usual too and skip anything where I have to put too much weight into my hands. I never put my hand flat on the mat. Instead I use my fists. This phase isn't fun but I can get by.

    2. If it's just a little bad, with these modifications practice feels pretty normal and I almost don't mind it: I put a wedge under the top of my mat for the sun salutations (I need my mat on top so my hands don't slip). It's wonderful how completely this eliminates the pain in the chaturanga-updog-downdog sequence. It doesn't work well for jumpbacks though because the wedge is in the way of where your feet need to go. One solution is to use 2 wedges, with one at each side of your mat just far enough in to give you a place for your hands while leaving a space in the middle for your feet to slide through. However, now that the wedges are on top of the mat, your hands may slide on them. At this point I sometimes try to put my yoga towel on top. But if I find I can get by with less of an incline than the wedges have, I use these gloves instead:

    which have a little wedge built into them. (I can't use them for the sun salutations though, since in downward dog they kind of get pushed into the webbings of your fingers and start to hurt. But they are great for getting through the seated postures.)

    For backbends I use blocks propped up at a 45 degree angle to the wall so that my wrists are hardly bent. If I feel up to it, I drop back to the bench on the one side of the room since if I don't go all the way to the floor I can land super softly or just lightly touch my fingertips to the bench before coming back up.

    I also bought these things which are like squared off dumbbells:

    They help too, but I find them to be less comfortable than using a wedge, and poses like downdog just don't feel the same with them.

    I hope your wrist is feeling better soon!

  3. Leslie,

    Thanks for the link to the gripitz! I had been thinking I could use something like dumbells to practice when my wrist was injured. I didn't know they actually made something like this, though. Hopefully I won't have the need again, but it's nice to know about these, just in case.

  4. Frank - Yeah, David told me about those. I will bring mine in and donate them to the studio so you can use them whenever you want. As I said, they turned out not to be the best thing for me.

  5. Hey, I understand too. I've delt with a shit ton of anger recently so if you ever want to talk about it I'm happy to chat. Just know that you are not aloneand this will pass if you keep listening to your body and doing what it tells you.

  6. I try to focus all that anger into the bandhas. That or a steady diet of aggro heavy metal could help.

  7. thanks guys... I was wondering if something had gotten knocked out of alignment in my joint, maybe related to not having enough padding in my mat (I haven't been using the thick black one the past couple of days). We'll see... I had my thick mat back today and it seemed to feel better but I'll have to be really careful.

    Leslie were those the dumbells you were using today?

    Josh good idea about the heavy metal... I think that could help too. Concert this weekend?

  8. I hope your wrists feel better soon! Hand pain is so terrible. We use our hands for everything, so the pain is really noticeable when it's there.