Hand Clenching (Mushtika Bandhana)

The Hand Clenching yoga exercise, also known as Mushtika Bandhana in Sanskrit, is a very effective exercise for wrists and hands that are affected by arthritis, particularly osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis commonly affects women and is usually felt during the initial part of menopause.

Osteoarthritis causes the cushions of the finger joints to wear out. Performing the hand clenching exercise will be helpful in developing a grip that is firm.


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It will also help make the joints of the hands stronger and will benefit individuals who play cricket, badminton, or tennis. Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is an immune system disease found in children. This condition usually affects the wrists and hands. Therefore, performing hand clenching in children with this disease will improve the condition of the joints and hands keep them in good working order.

Steps :

  1. To perform this exercise you should first come to Sukhasana (Easy Pose) or any other cross-legged pose that you are comfortable with. Make sure that your neck and spinal cord is kept straight.
  2. Bring your arms forward to come to the level of your shoulders and keep them straight so that they are parallel to the ground.
  3. Next twist your wrist such that your thumb side is facing up. Now, make a fist and insert the thumb into the other fingers, i.e., your thumb should be tucked into your palm with your fingers wrapped over it.
  4. While you inhale, open your hand and let all your five fingers stretch out.
  5. As you exhale, let your hand be folded back into a fist, tucking your thumb back into the other fingers.
  6. This exercise should be repeated around 8 times and then performed with the other hand. After a little practice you will be able to perform the hand clenching exercise using both hands simultaneously. To achieve beneficial results soon you should make sure to practice this exercise on a daily basis.

Precautions :

  • Make sure to always breathe through the nose during the performance of the exercise.

    This not only helps in warming the air to the temperature of the body but it also promotes breathing that is deeper and slower.
  • If during the practice you begin to feel pain, you should stop the exercise immediately.

Beginner's Tip :

A good beginner's tip for Hand Clenching is to maintain the breathing patterns of inhaling while the hands are being opened and exhaling when the hands are being closed. You should also make sure to focus on the mental counting, breathing, the sensation of stretching and the movements. After some practice you will find your hands working more intensely than previously.


Benefit To Body Part :

  • It helps strengthen the fingers to provide a stronger grip.
  • It strengthens the wrists and is therefore useful for sports persons who use the wrist a lot.
  • It is effective in strengthening the joints in the hands and therefore helps prevent carpal tunnel syndrome and arthritis from coming on at a later stage.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • The therapeutic applications include its effectiveness in relieving tension from the wrists and hands.
  • It enables us to focus energy towards the hands.

Variations :

  • Variations for Hand clenching include a set of hand positions known as mudras. The hand mudras that are most simple involve bringing one fingertip to touch the tip of your thumb. However, there are other mudras that are more difficult.
  • Another variation of Hand clenching to build strength is to squeeze a tennis ball and release it in the same way as the Hand clenching exercise.
  • You could also bring your finger tips together and press them gently or rotate your hands.
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