The aftereffects of severely breaking a bone sometimes can be felt for years to come, as I recently learned when I went to my first yoga class since breaking my arm years ago. Prior to the injury, I attended a weekly beginner’s yoga class for nearly a year. The classes became part of my weekly routine and I found that they helped me handle stress better, thus reducing my anxiety.
However, my yoga routine came to a stop when I fell and broke my arm at the wrist in 2006, fracturing both my radius and ulna, as well as shattering some of the smaller bones at the wrist. The breaks were too severe to heal on their own, so an orthopedic surgeon insert three pins to hold the bones in place. They were later removed.
Even though the injury was four years ago, my wrist and hand have never as strong as they were before the break, so I’ve shied away from yoga for nearly four years … until now. I have been experiencing a lot of depression and anxiety lately, so last weekend I decided to give yoga a shot again. I went to a basics class and informed the instructor about my injury beforehand. She told me to keep my hand flat on the mat during positions to avoid popping my wrist upward.
Though I followed her advice, I nevertheless experienced a lot of pain during Downward Facing Dog and other positions that put weight on my wrist. I experienced shooting pain both in my wrist itself and my hand at the palm. I wasn’t sure if I could complete the one-and-a-half hour class, but I held out and did, only avoiding one position, Wild Thing. Afterwards, I felt less stressed than usual and rejuvenated, just as I did when I took yoga classes before my injury. That said, will I do another yoga class?
No. My wrist and hand continued to ache throughout the day. The following day, I was still in some pain and my hand swelled slightly at the palm. Though I’m sure everyone’s experience resuming yoga after a severe break is different, for me, the pain and discomfort at the site of the injury outweighs the benefits I experience from doing yoga, so I will look for other stress-reduction activities.