Guest Blog: Yoga for the Musician

Jennifer Johnson

Musicians are dedicated to the craft of creating, performing, and producing music. And because of this, these athletes of sound often endure injuries associated with their wrists and shoulders. By carrying out excessive repetitive motions, musicians can strain their tendons causing tendonitis. This condition is the inflammation or irritation of a tendon (a thick cord that attaches bone to muscle). Tendonitis may also be caused by a minor impact on the affected area or from a sudden more serious injury. It can occur at the base of the thumb, wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, and Achilles tendon.

Often, mild tendonitis will heal itself along with avoiding certain activities that cause the area stress as well as resting the injured area, and icing it. While on your way to recovery, yoga can help support the healing process. As a follow up to the “Yoga for the Musician” class hosted by the Women in Jazz Association of B.C., I’ve included three yoga poses below to help with tendonitis in wrists and shoulders. Keep in mind that your body may require weeks to months to recover from tendonitis depending on the severity of your injury. Remember to consult your doctor if your condition does not improve in one week.

Pose #1: Hasta Bandha (hand lock) – strengthening to relieve/prevent tendonitis of the wrist

Hasta bandha is a yoga technique to build a safe and stable foundation for other poses in yoga. It relieves stress on the wrists because the body's weight is spread evenly throughout the hand, using the palm's natural arch to balance the body's weight and connect the body with the ground through the fingertips.

Pose #1: Hasta Bandha (hand lock)

Pose #1: Hasta Bandha (hand lock) (close-up)

Pose #1: Hasta Bandha (hand lock) (form details)

Hand Lock Visual Photo:

1. Start in table top position on your hands and knees.

2. Place your hands on the ground in front of you, fingers spread wide and double check your thumbs are not curling inwards.

3. Gently press your knuckles into the ground and lift the centre of your palms slightly in a cupping manner (like a suction cup).

4. In addition to this hand lock, you can move your shoulders forward over your hands to apply a slight stretch to your wrists.

5. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

6. To counter the previous position: Flip your hands so that your fingers are pointed towards you and the top of your hands are on the ground. For a greater stretch move your shoulders forward to use your body weight to apply slight pressure.

7. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times. size="1" width="33%" /

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Pose #2: Modified Sasangasana (Modified Rabbit Pose) – stretching for tendonitis of the wrist and shoulder

Pose #2: Modified Sasangasana (Modified Rabbit Pose)

  1. Start in child’s pose with knees hip distance apart

  2. Tuck your chin to your chest and place your head on the ground as close to your knees as possible.

  3. Bring your hands to your low back and interlace the fingers. Squeeze the shoulder blades together.

  4. Slowly raise your hips and glutes up. Your chin is still tucked into your chest.

  5. Raise your arms up behind you feeling the stretch in your shoulders, elbows, and wrists.

  6. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 2 times. Return your hands to your back and sink your hips downwards to return to child’s pose. Release your hands.

  7. Try the posture again interlacing your fingers the opposite way.

Pose #3: Chatus Pada Pitham (Four-Footed Tabletop Pose) – stretching and strengthening for tendonitis of the wrist and shoulder

Pose #3: Chatus Pada Pitham (Four-Footed Tabletop Pose)

  1. Start in a sitting position with your feet planted on the ground and knees bent.

  2. Place your hands on the floor approximately 1 ft behind your hips with fingertips facing towards your body, bending the elbows slightly.

  3. Press downwards through your feet and hands lifting the pelvis. Open up your chest and look behind you feeling the stretch in your wrists, elbows, and shoulders (as well as your spinal extensors, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps). If your neck feels strained, keep your chin to your chest.

  4. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 3 times.

Remember to take it slow and listen to your body, namaste.

Short Bio:

Jennifer Johnson studied yoga in India and taught in Cambodia. She currently teaches in Vancouver. Her website: Yoga Pancake is coming soon! For private or groups sessions please contact her through her email at


















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