Modifying Sun Salutation A: An Effective Solution for Wrist Pain
Greetings, my lovely Yogis, Yoginis, and Yoga teachers. I’m George Watts, a BWY yoga teacher and creator of the online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.
Sun Salutation A, or Surya Namaskar A, is a popular yoga sequence that is often used as a warm-up in yoga classes. It involves a series of postures that flow together, including the Plank pose, Four-Limbed Staff pose, Upward-facing Dog pose, and Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Today, I’d like to share 22 ways to modify Sun Salutation A if you have wrist pain. But first, download the Sun Salutation A lesson plan.
Sun Salutation A Lesson Plan
Here is the Sun Salutations A (Surya Namaskar A) yoga lesson plan that I created using the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.
Surya Namaskar A is a good option for starting your students off slowly because it’s a slightly watered-down version of Sun Salutations. Once your students get got good at Surya Namaskar A, you could teach them full Surya Namaskar.
Then after that, you could teach them a few harder versions such as Surya Namaskar B and C.
Yep, you guessed it, those versions are all available to copy and edit within the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner, along with 100,000+ other pre-filled yoga lesson plans.
Next up, 22 ways to modify Sun Salutation A if you have wrist pain.
22 Ways to Modify Sun Salutation A if you have Wrist Pain
While this sequence can be beneficial for the body and mind, it can also put a lot of pressure on the wrists. Here are 22 WAYS to MODIFY Sun Salutation A if you have wrist pain:
Modification 1: Use blocks
Placing blocks under your hands can help alleviate wrist pain during Sun Salutation A. Start in plank pose, with the blocks at the top of your mat. Place your hands on the blocks and continue the sequence as usual. This will help reduce the amount of weight that your wrists have to bear.
Modification 2: Modify Four-Limbed Staff Pose
The Four-Limbed Staff pose (also known as Chaturanga and Low Push-up), can be particularly challenging for the wrists. To modify this pose, drop your knees to the ground and lower yourself down. This will reduce the amount of weight on your wrists and make the pose more accessible.
Modification 3: Practice On Your Fists
If you find that using blocks is not enough, try making fists with your hands instead. This will create a more stable base and distribute the weight more evenly across your knuckles.
Modification 4: Do Tabletop Instead Of Plank Pose
Instead of starting in Plank pose, begin in Tabletop pose with your hands and knees on the ground. From here, you can move into the rest of the sequence.
Modification 5: Use A Yoga Wedge
A yoga wedge is a tool that can be placed under your hands to help reduce wrist pain. It elevates your wrists, which reduces the angle of extension and makes the pose more comfortable.
Modification 6: Take Breaks
It’s important to listen to your body and take breaks when you need to. If you’re experiencing wrist pain during Surya Namaskar A, take a break and come back to the sequence when you’re ready.
Modification 7: Use A Yoga Strap
Place a yoga strap around your upper arms to provide support during the Plank pose and the Four-Limbed Staff pose. This can help take some of the weight off of your wrists.
Modification 8: Do A Supported Plank
Place a bolster or blanket under your hips while in Plank pose to elevate your body and reduce the angle of your wrists.
Modification 9: Do A Forearm Plank
Instead of a traditional Plank pose, lower down onto your forearms and engage your core. This will take the weight off of your wrists and engage your core muscles.
Modification 10: Use A Wall
Stand facing a wall and place your hands on the wall at shoulder height. Walk your feet back until your body is in an L-shape. This will mimic Downward-Facing Dog pose and take the weight off of your wrists.
Modification 11: Do A Modified Upward Facing Dog
Instead of lifting your chest up high in the Upward-facing Dog pose, keep your elbows bent and your chest low. This will reduce the extension in your wrists and make the pose more accessible.
Modification 12: Use A Blanket
Fold a blanket and place it under your hands during the Downward-Facing Dog pose. This will provide cushioning for your wrists and make the pose more comfortable.
Modification 13: Practice On Two Or Three Yoga Mats
Instead of one Yoga mat, get three and place them on top of each other. That will create an ultra-soft surface that provides extra cushioning for your wrists.
Modification 14: Do Extended Child’s Pose
If you need a break during Sun Salutation A, come into Extended Child’s pose to rest. This gentle pose is a great way to release tension in the wrists and the rest of the body.
Modification 15: Do A Modified Mini Sun Salutation
Instead of doing Sun Salutation A, try a modified version that is more wrist-friendly. Here’s an example: Start in Extended Child pose, move to Cat-cow pose then to Standing Forward Bend pose, and end in Mountain pose.
Modification 16: Do Chair Sun Salutation A
Instead of doing Sun Salutation A, try doing it on a Chair. Here’s my Chair Sun Salutations lesson plan.
Modification 17: Do A Modified Vinyasa
Instead of moving through a full vinyasa (plank, four-limbed staff, upward-facing dog, and downward-facing dog), try a modified version. From the Plank pose, lower your knees to the ground and move into a gentle Cobra pose instead of an Upward-facing Dog pose. Then move back into the Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Modification 18: Use A Chair For Support
Place a chair at the top of your mat and use it for support during the sequence. For example, you can place your hands on the chair during the Plank pose, Four-Limbed Staff pose, and Downward-Facing Dog pose.
Modification 19: Use A Towel
Roll up a towel and place it under your wrists during the Downward-Facing Dog pose. This can provide extra cushioning and support for your wrists.
Modification 20: Do a Four-limbed Staff
Instead of lowering your body all the way down to the ground during Four-Limbed Staff pose, try lowering just halfway. This will reduce the amount of weight on your wrists.
Modification 21: Do A Modified Downward-facing Dog Instead of placing your hands on the ground, place them on blocks or a chair to reduce the angle of your wrists.
Modification 22: Try A Different Warm-up
If Sun Salutation A is causing you too much discomfort, try a different warm-up sequence that is more wrist-friendly. For example, you can try a series of seated and floor yoga stretches or gentle standing yoga poses.
Next up, is my conclusion.
By modifying Surya Namaskar A, you can continue to enjoy the benefits of this popular yoga sequence without experiencing wrist pain. Experiment with these modifications and find what works best for you and your body. Remember, yoga is about honouring your body and doing what feels good for you.
Hey, you might like this article I wrote called: 21 Yoga Poses For Your Spine: 101 Ways To Improve Spinal Health.
And oh yes, I almost forgot…
My free Yoga Pose Directory has over 3000 yoga poses. So, if you want to find even more yoga poses that help with relaxing the body and mind, go here.
And there’s this…
If you like creating yoga class themes, like this one, you’ll want to look at my blog post 101 Perfect Poses For A Peak Pose-Themed Yoga Lesson Plan.
If you want to streamline your yoga lesson planning process, check out my online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner.
And while you’re here, you might as well get your hands on 37 of my free Yoga lesson plans.
Get Your Yogic Hands On 37 Of My Free Yoga Lesson Plans
Below are 37 free downloadable yoga lesson plans that I’ve created for my own yoga classes using the Online Yoga Genie Lesson Planner. Feel free to use them for your own yoga classes, or as inspiration to come up with your own yoga class themes.
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