Yoga was something I enjoyed in my life before children, but when I became pregnant with my first kid I developed awful carpal tunnel that made many yoga poses impossible. That carpal tunnel morphed into really painful tendonitis after my son was born, and my weak wrists and hands never fully recovered. For the past seven+ years, I would experience intermittent pain and/or tingling when I would play my ukulele which, as you can imagine, was frustrating and limiting.
For ukulele players, hand strength is particularly important for the fretting hand. It takes time for beginners to develop the dexterity, muscle memory, and agility to properly shape chords and make quick transitions, yet I honestly hadn't realized just how weak my hands were until I started doing yoga again. Through hand- and wrist-strengthening poses like downward dog, plank, cobra, and side plank, I've regained a lot of power in my hands, which has made my playing so much more pleasurable (not to mention less painful)! And it's awesome!
Have you been impacted by a hand or wrist injury? Or want to develop hand strength to improve your playing? Check out this handy link for hand-strengthening yoga poses, or check out Yoga with Adriene on Youtube. Here's the video I did this afternoon (and I even managed to hold Crow pose for about two seconds!):