Teenager Hand Pain in simple yoga warm ups


I need some advice I am a yoga teacher but only qualified Dec 2008 and have not come across anything quite like this before. I will fill you in on the background but please ask for more info if you think you can help.

My son is 17 years old and a complete computer geek…he would sit all day if we let him tapping away and he wants to be a games programmer so he will more than likely be spending more and more time at the pc.

In that last year or so he has taken up badminton and begun to play football (messing around with friends not a team sport version) and last week attended a karate class. Up until this time he has not really undertaken any real sports or physical activites he’s not even a keen swimmer although we insisted he learn when he was younger.

Now he gets lots of aches and pains and realises that he is not flexible and I think the karate class really showed him some of this along with his lack of endurance. He never sleeps well complains of back pain, neck and wrist quite frequently. He is very over 6 feet tall and very very slim build his waist is only 28" although he eats pretty much most of the time. He asked me to do some yoga with him to try and help him.

He can’t sit cross legged so I sat him on 3 blocks but he still had to have his legs in front of him bent with feet on floor but could not hold this for long either. He does not bend through his hips but uses is lower spine and I think has a kyphotic curve but he can flatten in with some effort briefly. These things I could see were mainly due to, obviously kyphosis for upper body, but extremely tight hamstrings and weak abdominals which I can work on gently. We came to do cat/cow flexing the spine and the pressure in his hands actually brought tears to his eyes even flattening and stretching his fingers caused pain in his palm and underside of his fingers. I tried using blocks to stop the fingers flattening but the pressure in his palms still caused pain. I am thinking it may be carpal tunnel syndrome but thought I would ask if anyone had any experience of this type of thing in someone so young? He can’t even sit with legs wide in front of him and lean back on his hands without pain.

Any advice on where to start? As I am so close to the subject I don’t think I am thinking as clearly as I might if it was a normal client - should the doctors or chriopractor be the first step to get a clear diagnosis?



Hello Candice.

It seems to me like you are seeing this very clearly indeed.
His lifestyle choices are rapidly manifesting in his physical body.
Thank goodness he is up and active. That will be far healthier than sitting for hours on end.

Instead of having him sit cross-legged (which you’ve stated he cannot) have him extend one leg straight and cross the other ankle over that thigh. He’ll work the rotation in one bent knee at a time until he has enough mobility to work both.

He should be doing the beginning hip opening series perhaps twice a day; morning and night. That series will include seven of the eight movements of the hip joint (as none of that series is done in compression). If he’s crouching over keyboards all day then he may be served by adding work to lengthen the three hip flexors. Some of that will be addressed in the series mentioned above.

Using Marjarasana (cat pose) to work spinal flexion and extension mandates that the student’s wrists be extended to 90? AND that they bear the body’s weight on that extension. If you cannot find GriptItz or a pair of dumbbells for him to hold in this work then take him to the wall and have him do Vira I, modified as you would for those with SI issues. Hands at wall, exhaling to press the wall and lift the sides of the waist and sternum.

When he’s ready for gentle back bending take him there. Laying back over crossed bolsters might be okay for now.

I trust the two of you are looking carefully at his lifestyle and diet?
You don’t mention what he is eating, drinking etcetera so I can’t comment specifically.


Hi thanks for the valuable info had not thought of using a gripping tool for the hand problem this will be a great tool. I am not completely familiar with the hip series you are talking about but given it moves through each possible movement of the hip joint I think I can work this out. I had also thought that the pawanmuktasasana series for anti-reheumatics would help to begin to loosen a few things perhaps increase some blood flow to the joints.

His choice of foods naturally is high carbs, sugars and fats. We have struggled for many years to get him to eat vegetables but he is getting there and will eat at least 2 types of veg and salad now. He eats cereals every day drinks plenty of well diluted juice rarely has fizzy/sugary drinks does not drink alcohol. He is learning that what he eats affects they way he behaves but at his age now I can only usually be responsible for 1 balanced meal a day, but he is quite proud to tell me when he makes healthier choices on his own.

I will see if these more suited postures help him on his way some more. I am just pleased that he has decided that he needs to make choices now to make his life more healthy for the future. Thank you for providing help to a worried mother and giving a new yoga teacher confirmation that she can ask for help without feeling a failure.



We’re all new yoga teachers my dear.
There is no path for us at all without learning and growing everyday and the embodiment of humility and gratitude (that which keeps the Ego at bay).

The pawanmuktasasana series I believe is part of structural yoga therapy which is held by Mukunda Stiles and his pupils. Better to ask of that series with them. I have not learned it, have not practiced it, and therefore do not teach it nor comment on it:-)

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