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G in our Bikram Yoga A to Z can only mean one thing: Grip!

“Get a good, tight grip” has got to be one of my most-repeated phrases in class and it’s not just to test your patience. Grip is essential both in order to allow you to correctly perform the postures, and because it directly benefits your fingers, hands, wrists and arms. The body is wonderfully intricate. The deeper you go in this practice the more you understand how everything is connected and even small adjustments can have a big impact.

Janushirasana

Janushirasana

The standard beginner’s Bikram grip is interlacing your fingers to the webbing, including the thumbs. We use this first in Pranayama breathing at the start of class, which gives you a chance to get comfortable interlacing your fingers. Then we put your grip to the test in Standing Head to Knee (Dandayamana Janushirasana) and during the floor sequence Wind-Removing Pose (Pavanamuktasana) and Head to Knee with Stretching (Janushirasana). You weave your fingers together and, you apply pressure to your grip through kicking or pulling, you build strength and flexibility in your hands, fingers and wrists.

The grip is especially challenging when you’ve worked up a good sweat but that’s part of the challenge! If you find your grip slipping, readjust it. Remember, we’re practicing yoga — the goal is to do your best every time, not be perfect.

Questions about hands, fingers or grip? Ask in the comments!

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