Chair Yoga Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Hand & Wrist Mobility

20 min - Practice


Karen shares therapeutic and energizing movements to offer relief and spaciousness in the hands, wrists, and joints. This practice is designed to release any tension, tightness, and inflammation.
What You'll Need: Chair

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Thanks for joining me. We are now going to do a little work on the hands and wrists today. But before we get started, we will be moving and shaking the fingers and the wrists. So if you have any kind of inflammation in these joints or a little arthritis, if we're shaking anything, don't shake too hard. So there will be some vigorous shaking, but you're going to feel through the hands and the wrists and figure out what works best for you.

All right. So we're going to get started. So let's just find our seat and just getting nice and tall again with a deep inhale, allowing for the spine to become erect and just relax through the shoulders and feeling steady and grounded through the feet. So the feet are just directly underneath the knees here. Okay.

And we're just going to bring our attention to the hands. So go ahead and take a look at your hands and they can be, the fingers can be stretched open a little bit. What you might want to pay attention to is the little finger. It tends to pop out to the side. So we're going to try and keep them evenly spaced out.

Okay. So initially we're just going to shake the hands. And for some of us, this can be a big movement or a small movement. And some of us might want to shake them a little more and getting into the forearm and the elbow and the full body, the full arm. So just keep that going for about four deep breaths and you're just feeling nice and sturdy and grounded in the feet and the buttocks and just the wrist is moving and the fingers.

So let's go ahead and just stop that for a minute. And you'll feel this little bit of energy coming out towards the tips of the fingers and into the palms. It can feel quite nice. If you like, you can just land the hands and just feel that for a moment. And if you want to go back into the shake, you decide how many times you might like to do that.

And sometimes I do this for about four or six times, just shaking, pausing, feeling the energy and then going into it again. Each time you might get a little bit more vigorous with the hands. So just keep on shaking. And then when you feel like you've done enough shaking, just take a moment to release the hands to the legs and just feel the energy in the arms, in the palms, out to the tips of the fingers and just notice and relax and feel and just take a moment. Again, repeat that as many times as you'd like.

The next thing we're going to do with the hands is a wave. So we're basically just going to wave from side to side. It's a little different than the shaking and we can get both hands going at the same time. So you're just a little bit into the wrist. You'll feel this in the forearm and the elbow very slightly and you just have the fingers open and you're just going from side to side.

Nice. Again, we're just going to take a moment to wait and relax and notice it's just movement. It's a movement of energy, movement of prana, that life force going all the way to the tips of the fingers. Beautiful. And then the next thing we're going to do, we're going to have the elbows kind of close to the body and we're just going to flick the hands downwards and flick them back and down and back and kind of feel the gravity pulling the fingers down.

So you get a nice tipping through the wrist and it's just going downwards and you're flicking down away from the body about eight or ten times. And then you're going to stop and then you're going to turn the palms towards you and you're going to flick them to you and back, to you and back, to you and back. So you get a different kind of flexion in the wrist. And again, you're just going to repeat that for a handful of times. Interesting I say a handful of times, okay.

And then you're going to bring the palms looking towards each other and you're going to flick them toward each other and out to the sides. This is just a different rotation of the forearm and the shoulder actually. And also the wrist and fingers are getting that action energy. And up to you, you can make it be fast or slow. Okay, nice.

And then just relax the hands again onto the knees, palms down or turned up, whichever feels good for you and just take a moment to notice. Notice the energy through the fingers, through the thumb, in the palms, front and back and all the way in the wrist and up through the forearm. Now we're going to make a fist with our hand and we're going to have a fist be the fingers turned inward and the thumb out on top and then we're going to open the hands and we're going to claw, we're going to fist, open, claw, fist, open, claw, fist, open, claw, fist, open, claw, you're going to play with your mind here now. So open, claw, fist, claw, fist, claw, fist, claw, open, fist, claw, just totally get into all the joints of the fingers. The clawing is very nice and the opening feels really yummy, just releasing through the joints and then the fist feels very nurturing but you can totally get into the wrist and the forearms and then again, just take a moment to notice through each one what might be working.

So you can do this as many times as you'd like, this clawing, opening, fist, and you can just really feel this beautiful lubrication through all of the joints. It feels ever so nice to release any tightness or tension in the hands, in the wrists, in the elbow, the forearms, the tips of the fingers. So we're going to do another little movement with the fingers and wrist. So we're going to extend the right hand out directly in front and take a look at the thumb and we're going to send the thumb over to the left and then make a figure eight moving through the wrist and fingers. So you're sending the thumb out to the left, coming up, dipping down, rotating up to the right and here we go.

So we're going to do that for a handful of times, a handful means five. So just have that movement and it can be a tall movement, a big movement, a small movement. In fact, you might want to play with one or the other or all of them and just enjoy this delicious movement and the fingers can be closed and then you might consider opening the fingers and just getting into the palm and dipping down and rotating the wrist even more and of course we have the other side to do. So let's just go ahead and release the right hand to the floor or to the leg and we'll extend the left hand out, finding that left thumb and taking it over to the right side, bringing it up and dipping down and making your figure eight, your infinity roll, your mobius strip, whatever that feels like for you. And you have the fingers closed initially because you're paying attention to the thumb moving in this direction.

This is a full arm movement, you're totally in the shoulder as well as the wrist. And then you're going to open the fingers and really get into the palm, the front of the palm, the back of the palm and just even this side out along with the other side and very slowly and carefully go ahead and bring the arm back to the knees. So again, just take a moment to notice how that feels deeply through the arms, all the way from the shoulder to the elbow to the wrist and to every little joint and bone and muscle through the fingers. So the next thing we're going to do is pretend you have those jars, those tight lids on the jars that need to be opened. So we're finding our hands on top of our jars.

So we're clawing a little bit, holding on, and we're going to turn, let's take the right arm first. So we're going to turn the jar, the top of the jar, so you're twisting into the wrist, twisting through the fingers, bending through the knuckles, twisting, okay, righty tighty lefty loosey. So we're just having this little action, that feels like too much in the shoulder. Just bring the arm down and just gently, or you can even get a jar and try this action with the jar. And then you just go to the other side.

So you're going to do the left rotation, towards the right, external, internal, and just let that happen. And you can really play with the fingers here and the wrist. Leave a little tension underneath the palm here and between the fingers, because you're fake holding onto something, but it really creates this tension and action in the hands, the wrist, the joint, and the muscles. So just allow that to happen, even this side out along with the other, and then just release. Take a moment.

It feels so nice to release that tension in the fingers. So your palms can be down or turned up. We're going to do a couple more where we're going to stretch through the fingers. So you're going to allow the palms to be by our side. So the elbows are kind of close to the body, and we're going to extend the fingers out deeply open wide.

So the palms are facing forward and it's like you're sending the fingers down towards the earth. Just take a moment here to feel the shoulders release and this deep extension from the elbows to the wrists and from the wrist right to the middle finger and out to the tips of all the other fingers. Okay. So when you're ready, let's take the thumb. So we're going to take this thumb to the little finger pad.

So the pad right underneath the little finger. And as you touch, you're going to extend the other fingers deeply open. Now again, if you have a little tension in the hands or you feel a little inflammation or you feel like this is uncomfortable, just release the pull, the opening of the hands. But if it's available to you, extend the fingers open. And then when you're ready, open up the thumb, keep the fingers open and just really allow for that thumb to open up and out and wide.

And when you're ready, we're going to take the forefinger to the pad of the thumb. So we're taking that there. And as we do that, we're going to try to open up all the other fingers. This is very tricky and you'll find it gets harder as we move through the fingers. So a couple of breaths here, inhaling, exhaling, opening up the fingers and then release that finger.

It feels so nice opening wide through the fingers. Okay. So we've moved through the pointer. We're now going to bring the middle finger into the thumb pad. As we bring that in, we're going to see if we can open up all the other fingers.

This might be difficult and that's okay. Just see what you can do with opening up the fingers, widening the distance between them. And you have a little tension as you do that through the fingers, very slowly and carefully release that middle finger feels ever so good. And then just find the fingers wide, palms facing forward and see if the fingers are going behind you. And then we bring the ring finger to the thumb pad.

This is a little more tricky to get the other ones back and this will be different for every single one of us. It'll be different for everybody in your family or at your workplace, wherever you're doing this. So again, just open up all those other fingers as much as you can and then slowly and carefully release the ring fingers so it's deeply opened. You're releasing any tension in the hands, finding a little width between the fingers. And then here we go, little finger comes to the thumb pad.

Oh my goodness. And then you're trying to open up all those other fingers, little tension, that's okay. And then holding and then very slowly and carefully opening up all the fingers. Oh, that feels so yummy. And just shake out the fingers, again, not too rigorously, very nicely, and you're bringing them a little closer to the body.

We're now going to interlace the fingers. And as we interlace, we're just going to roll through the wrists in one direction. And you can get into this quite nicely, just allowing for the wrists and you're gently squeezing the fingers toward each other, just allowing for this action to happen in one direction. And then maybe you'll take it in the opposite direction, which is also a bit of a brain teaser. How the heck do I do that?

Very nice. Oh, that feels so good. And then slowly and carefully, we're going to invert the fingers. So we have interlaced them. We're going to invert the fingers down.

And as we do that, we're going to extend through the arms and we're pressing the fingers into the backs of the palms. And some of us, we might have a little cracking, just a little release there through the fingers and then just bring them on inwards, interlacing, enjoy that little bit of rotation in the wrists. Releasing and inverting, oh, I had a little crack there. And then come on, bring it back a little more of an interlace and the movement through the wrist. And let's just invert one last time, invert and press through the fingers nice and release the hands.

So that has been a lot of work in your hands and your wrist. So we're just going to massage now through the through the hands. So we're just going to pull through the fingers like you're holding and squeezing and very slowly and carefully just dragging through the thumb, massaging through the palms. And then we're just going to work through each finger. So we're going to find the right hand right between the thumb and the forefinger, just massaging here between the opposite thumb and forefinger, so a nice little bit of flesh right there.

And then slowly and carefully, we're just going to drag the thumb through the bones of the fingers, each one. So you have four big bones there. And then slowly and carefully, you're going to arrive holding the thumb and squeezing, squeezing from the base to the tip to where the nail is, and then just flick it away. You're going to do that through every finger, just a gentle squeeze. It can be at the top to the bottom or throughout the sides.

Just make your way to the tip of the finger and flick. You can rest the hand if that feels good. It's the squeezing, pressing, gentle massage, coming through the knuckles and the muscles and the tendons, and again, all the way to the ring finger, through to the little finger. And then just pop over to the other side. Just allow for this squeezing to happen.

You're going to massage through those bones first. This thumb does a lot of work. And then just squeeze, make your way up to the tips. You've ever had a mani, a little manicure, maybe you've not had this done before, but it's very nice to do it for yourself. Nice.

And let me just have one more thing to do. And that's raising the hands, and we're going to bring them together into namaste hands, to Anjali Mudra hands, prayer hands. But I want us to really enjoy the touching of the hands and to observe the touching and see how that feels. So we're first going to bring the heels of the hands to each other and just feel that and notice, right? And then allow for the palms to come a little closer.

And then the pads underneath the fingers will touch. And then you'll watch the little finger touch, the ring finger touch, the middle finger touch, the forefinger touch, and then the thumb. Just hold the hands for a moment, release the shoulders, nice erect spine, and you can even land the hands towards the heart. Just noticing the energy through the wrists and the fingers, it feels ever so nice. And before we finish, we're actually going to release the fingers.

We're going to come into lotus hands. So we're going to release, we're going to keep the little fingers together and the thumbs together. We'll move the hand away from the heart here and we'll release the others. And we come into this beautiful cupping of the fingers, like the lotus flower. It can feel ever so nice.

Just breathe here and hold, receive this beautiful receptivity gesture and allow for this calming throughout the body, this calming throughout the hands. But there's a vitality and an energy throughout the fingers. Yeah. Let's close the eyes and breathe here, receiving the benefits and integrating all that sweet energy work throughout the fingers and hands. And then very slowly and carefully, let's come back to Anjali Mudra.

Bring the hands to the heart. Breathe deeply here, Namaste, Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.


Jenny S
3 people like this.
This sweet little practice felt sooo good in the hands...lots of tingling and tangible energy happening ✨✨✨. Looking forward to showing the feet some love next episode 😘
Leelavathi S
Soooo good in the hands 👌👏🙏
Melanie C
My hands and wrists and forearms were SO sore and this was amazing - what a difference with this short practice! Will definitely be using this one again!
Laura F
I have arthritis in my hands and wrists. I now feel that I can use the practice of yoga to help release these joints. Thank you so much. Simply enlightening!

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