Changing the Alignment of the Pinky Finger

Changing the alignment of the pinky finger, moving it in line with the outer edge of the palm, has been a radical restructuring of my practice. I wrote about this a few weeks back but wanted to revisit the topic because of how much I love the instruction.

Retraining my hand so that my pinky finger lines up with the outer edge of the palm has created a profound shift in my asana practice, especially inversions. I don’t get many of those any more.

I am offering or teaching this alignment cue in every one of my classes for the last month at least. Sometimes I simply say look at your hands and move the pinky in line if isn’t there already.  At other opportunities I’ll take the time to go over the benefits in more detail.

What I am fascinated by, and this is ostensibly the point of this post, is how most students hear the instruction “move the pinky” and rotate the whole hand and wrist instead.

At first I disregarded this but it happens so consistently I am forced to think about it though I have no particular insight as to why so many people employ a consistently wrong adjustment.

I’ve used different variations on “move your pinky in line with the palm” and they all tend to produce a similar inverted wrist adjustment.

Chaning the alignment of the pinky finger to be continous with the outer edge of the palm is a great change to make in your practice. Just make sure that you make the adjustment correctly and you will reap many benefits from a tiny shift of a finger.

I’d love some thoughts on the alignment of the thumb. I will start considering that in the next couple of weeks.

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