Yoga Tips For The Hands | Yoga With Adriene

– Hi everyone.
Welcome to Yoga With Adriene. I’m Adriene and this is Benji and today we have some
yoga tips on the hands. So mostly about placement in
Downward Dog but a couple little things to just help inspire
or wake up your hands and your attention on your hands in your
asana practice in particular. So hop into something
comfy and let’s get started. (bright music) Okie doke my friends,
let’s begin today’s practice in a nice, comfortable
seat of your choice. We are looking
at the hands today in our practice but you also selected this video
probably in an effort to take some time for yourself,
learn something, explore, improve your practice
which of course has a direct effect on your life so let’s
go ahead and start by taking a moment to just tune in,
collect ourselves, connect to the breath
and find what feels good. So wherever you are,
sit up nice and tall. Find length through the crown and you can close your eyes
if you’re feeling adventurous or soften your gaze down
gently past your nose. Then draw the hands
mindfully together at the heart and take a deep breath in. And as you exhale,
just relax your shoulders. Let go of the day thus far and just take a second
to feel your breath. Feel yo’self and trust that this is
valuable time and energy and that you’ve
carved out for you. We always talk about the journey
being the reward in yoga but then we bypass the journey and
the process of learning a lot. So I admire you for taking
time to explore with this video. And play. Alright, just take one
more cycle of breath here. Inhaling in. And exhaling out. And then we’ll open the eyes. You might have a little fun. Flutter the eyelashes open. Benji’s alert. Here we go, we’re gonna
press the elbows left to right. Really feeling this connection,
palm to palm. It’s holy palmer’s kiss. Name where that’s from down in
the comment section down below. So a nice active press here. Again, elbows left to right. Shoulders are gonna wanna creep
up here but we’re gonna keep them drawing down, lifting the
sternum up towards the thumbs. Spread the fingertips super wide
so thumbs are reaching towards the sternum and pinkies are
reaching towards the front. So they’re actively
stretching away from each other. Great, take another
deep breath in. And then on the exhale,
close the fingers, bring everything in towards
each other, keep pressing. Open, spread
the fingertips wide. And close.
And twice more. Open. And close. Woo and last one, open. And close.
Awesome, take a rest. Just allow your wrists
or your hands to rest gently on your knees. So the thing is
in these exercises, and I’m gonna link to a healthy
amount of really awesome yoga for the hands and wrists videos. These videos have some of my
favorite, favorite things that I just teach over and over and
over again for building strength in the hands and wrists. Stability as well
so check them out. But the thing is you have
to remember if you’re really feeling it in your hands,
you’re probably gonna benefit from regular practice. So the more you do it, right? The bigger shift and you’ll
start to notice in your poses, in your asana practice as well. Alright, bring the
hands together again. Interlace the fingertips nice
and easy just press the palms forward, stretching
through the forearms. Plug the shoulders into socket. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. The next time you
breathe out take your hands, press them, slide them
over towards the right. Good, breathe in,
come back to center. Breathe out as you take them, slide them over
towards the left. Benji, Benji! What’s up, buddy? Inhale, come back to center. We’re gonna release, palms face up now
on the knees or the thighs. Great, index finger
and thumb come together. We press them together.
Keep breathing. Then just
continuing down the line, pressing into all fingers. Back and forth, back and forth,
back and forth. This reminds me of a video we
have on the Find What Feels Good membership, it’s a Kundalini
meditation called Satanama. Of course in this case we’re
actively pressing the fingerprints together,
active, active. In that one it’s a bit softer
but it’s an amazing meditation. If you’re interested in it,
go check it out. Alright, release that. Send the fingertips forward,
palms face down. Then draw your
hands into knuckles, into fists and you’re just
gonna draw the knuckles down. Woo, yeah and then up. Down and then up. Ooh! Down. (chuckles) And then up. And down, last time,
and then up. And now open the palms
wide, super wide like starfish. Dial the pinkies down,
out, externally rotate, down, down, down and then up. Woo! Down. And then up. One more time, down. And then up. And you can notice how it all
moves together in one moving part which we’re gonna put
into play now on all fours. So go ahead and
come to all fours. Nice and easy. Okay, so a tip here is each time
you’re placing the hands to the earth you have a chance to really just thank
the earth. Right? It’s about alignment but it’s
also about like the meaning you give to things and that
can really help inform your alignment in a way that I think we should explore
a little more in yoga. So come on down. Knees are
underneath the hips, wrists are underneath
the shoulders. And you might just
notice your pattern here of coming a little bit narrow. Rarely do I see
someone go too wide. Usually it’s too narrow. So bring your wrists
right underneath your elbow, elbow right underneath
the shoulder for Tabletop. And take a look at your hands. Spread them super wide here so
you feel the webbing between each finger stretching. And then see if you
can really root down through your fingerprints. Really root down
through your knuckles. Keep going. And then reaffirm this
connection that is between your index finger and thumb. Yes, this is
where we want to be. So we’re taking pressure out of
the wrists almost completely by really connecting
through the knuckles, through the fleshy part between
the index finger and thumb and clawing through the fingertips. Keep breathing here. Now elbow creases
are gonna shine forward, biceps towards the
front edge of the mat. So you start with the hands and
then we allow that to rotate up towards the shoulders. And it’s one
big connection here. Great, let’s take it
Cat-Cow ’cause why not? This time is valuable but also
to add breath and movement to see if you can maintain what
you have going on in the hands. So whenever you’re
ready drop the belly, open the chest. Breathe in. And then exhale, really establish or re-establish
with the hands as you round through the spine. So there’s this yielding, you’re
pressing away from the yoga mat. We’re not just collapsing
into the hands or the wrists. Yes. And with practice
and with strengthening, stretching, building stability
in the hands and wrists this will become easier. Okay, come back to
a nice neutral spine. Now we’re gonna continue the
rotation all the way around. You might need to walk
your knees in just a bit. And in particular if you feel
any pain around the wrists, go ahead and walk the knees in and start nice and
close to the fingertips. So same thing, I’m trying to
claw through the fingertips. Connect knuckle to mat. Really, really strong. And then establish or
re-establish over and over this connection that’s between
my index finger and thumb. In time you’ll be
able to walk back here, create more space, more length. But again, if you feel any
pinching or any pain at all, just walk those
knees up and work here. So this is also
great to do on a wall. You can do this one hand on a
wall one way and then the other, one at a time or
both at the same time. Take one more
cycle of breath here. You’re doin’ awesome. And then return
to Tabletop Position. Really be meticulous
about the hands here. The wrists stacked
underneath the shoulders. And then memorize
this for your practice. Tabletop Position, this
nice strong base to work from. Cool. Awesome. From here
we’ll curl the toes under, send the hips back. Just take a second,
come off the wrists. You can rotate them
one way and then the other. Okay, so another little tip
for today’s practice is the placement of hands
in Downward Facing Dog. So you can check out the
Downward Dog Foundations video which is super old (laughs)
but check it out and then in addition you’ll have the
hand and wrist videos in the description but one thing I’m
seeing a lot lately in photos and videos and definitely in
studio classes and live events is the placement for the hands for Downward Dog
is really narrow. So let’s come to check that out. So we’re gonna
come back to all fours. We’re gonna walk the hands out
this time creating diagonal line from wrist to shoulder. So again,
same thing as in Table, we have to actually
start at the bottom, start at the base. So I’m seeing
beautiful hand placement. Maybe even a great
connection of fingerprints, of knuckles working to spread
that weight out on the palm, not the wrist but my hands
are pretty narrow usually here, I’m seeing a lot so when I come
into Downward Dog I can’t really find a lot of rotation
in my shoulders here. I can’t get my shoulder blade
to drop down and wrap around the body because my
hands are too narrow. I don’t have a fighting chance. So go ahead and
let’s just explore, we’ll just workshop
a little bit today, go ahead and bring your pinkies towards the outer
edges of your mat. Like all the way. And then place your hands there. Almost to where your pinky nail
is kind of coming off the mat. And then imagine you’re opening
a pickle jar with your right hand to the right. Elbow crease,
everything connects, you know that. And then left hand to the left,
everything connects. So elbow crease is forward. And if you have
a lot of mobility, hypermobility even or just plain
old flexibility in your elbows, you’re gonna want
to really work hard to maintain that micro-bend. And that’s really for everyone
but if you have hypermobility you’re gonna wanna
just keep it on your list, baby. So hands are nice and wide here. My index finger and thumb are
pointing toward the front edge of the mat so not
towards each other. So for example,
peek at the video here, instead of placing the hands
like this for Downward Dog, I’m placing them like this. Let’s see what happens. Find the connection
with your hands. Connect that to the elbow
joint to the shoulder joint. Wrap the shoulder blades around. Curl the toes under
and send the hips up high with this nice wide base. Ah. Pedal it out, explore. Nice wide base of the hands
which translates all the way up to the shoulders
which translates to all of the shoulder blade, the lat, the way
I can relax my traps, and even the way I engage
transverse abdominis and hug my low ribs in for
this connection here. So all because of my hand
placement I’m able to find this chain, this connection. Inhale, exhale
to slowly release. Nice work. Just come to a nice, easy seat. Your choice. We’re just gonna cross one
arm over the body here like so. Wiggle the fingertips maybe
and then release and switch. So I have a friend who’s also my coach at
the gym who often talks about connection versus position
and sometimes I think we get a little wrapped up in learning
the correct or most traditional posture and we
forget how important it is for us to make
that connection. And if you do any sort of
resistance training or strength training you know
what I’m talking about too. So just kind of bringing
that into our practice. Okay, come into a Dundasana now. So you’re gonna come
to sit on your bum. Flex the feet
up towards the sky. We’ll take the
fingertips forward. Draw ’em into knuckles again. And once again,
we’ll just go down with the knuckles and then up. And down and up. Try to sit up
nice and tall here, down and up. Down and up. And then open the palms wide. You’re gonna spiral
them down and then up. Down and then up. Down and then up. And then down and the
next time you’re down, go ahead and take your right
hand to your left fingers and press nice and easy the forearm and the wrist
through for a stretch. And then switch. Right fingertips down,
left fingertips come in. Big stretch here.
Breathing deep. Excellent, then release. You’re gonna bring now
the knuckles to the ground and you’re gonna walk them
back so that your wrists come close to the earth. Then we’ll loop the
shoulders and you can open the palms wide here.
They kind of blossom out as you feel nice, deep stretch. Lift from the pelvic floor. Flex your feet toward your face. Big breath in. Long breath out. And now Staff Pose, traditional. Bring the hands
right at the waistline. Spread the fingers. Press away from your yoga mat. If the fingers or hands,
excuse me, don’t come to the mat,
just tent the palms, press into your fingers,
lift up through the chest. Breathing deep. You’re doing awesome. Gorgeous. Then send the
fingertips forward. Slowly roll all the
way down to your back, nice and easy. Bring the knees
up towards the chest. Hug them in. Rock a little side to side. Find what feels good. And then from here you could
slide your hands to the backs of the thighs rock all the way up. Maybe you rock a couple
times if it feels awesome. And if you’re ready to close out
this little workshop then come to a nice comfortable seat or
pause the video and start to work in your Downward Dog,
your Plank Position, Gate Pose, Tabletop and play
with this position of the hands and notice how the position of
the hands has everything to do with how you connect with the
rest of your body when you’re doing those
weight bearing postures. I’ll link to other videos in
the description down below. If you’re ready to rock out,
let’s bring palms together. Start to create a little
friction, a little heat. Nice, swift rubbing of the palms together. Sit up nice and tall. And then exhale, bring
your hands to your chest. Just feel the energy. Give thanks for this time
that you’ve taken for yourself. May it inspire you to
get on the mat more and more. Remember a little goes a long
way and regular practice and regular check-ins with
your breath and your body will bring the most results. Bring the palms together. Thumbs up to the third eye. Inhale in. Exhale to bow. Thanks everyone. Namaste. (upbeat music)


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