If you’ve never practiced yoga before, getting into the flow of things can be challenging both mentally and physically. Poses like downward facing dog, plank variations and crow put a lot of pressure on your hands and wrists, so it’s important to be mindful of details such as form, alignment and weight distribution in order to prevent injuries. But while practice certainly makes perfect in these areas over time, leaning on props like yoga wedges can also help beginners grow accustomed to these postures.
Think of a yoga wedge as a bolster-block hybrid. They’re constructed from durable foam (sometimes cork), meaning they’re soft enough that leaning on them is comfortable, yet sturdy enough to support you and keep you locked into a given pose. They’re super light weight, so you can definitely cart them from home to the studio in your tote and because they’re generally scratch proof, you don’t have to hold back on your grip (though, of course, don’t strain yourself, either).
As for when it’s appropriate to use a yoga wedge, these accessories are more than welcome on the mat during weight-bearing poses (like those aforementioned above), under the sit-bones and heels — essentially, in any pose you might need a lift or support. It’s also worth noting that yoga wedges are helpful for beginners, but they’re also great for anyone experiencing pain or tension in their wrists or hands. So whether you’re a novice or professional, it’s worth investing in any of the following yoga wedges to keep on hand for whenever you need the extra support.
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1. OPTOP Foam Incline Slant Boards
Some yoga wedges come long and strong, while others — like this pair from OPTP — are smaller, block-shape items. Made from a special weight-bearing foam, these yoga wedges are especially helpful in preventing and treating a range of foot ailments like heel spurs, shin splints, calf strains and Achilles tendonitis, to name a few. Use them to support your soles and heels in downward facing dogs and any pose that puts a strain on your feet, or plant the slanted cushion under your bum to better your posture.
2. StrongTek 13" Large Yoga Foam Wedge
The StrongTek yoga wedge is the perfect cushion to add to your practice. Constructed from high-density EVA foam that’s as eco-friendly as it is gentle on your muscles and joints, the accessories can be used solo or combined to make one long yoga wedge, and can assist in exercises on and off the mat as well.
3. Gaiam Yoga Block Wedge
Gaiam products have garnered quite the cult following among yogis, and the brand’s yoga wedge is definitely one to consider adding to your collection: It’s a one-piece, long wedge that extends 20 inches. The bright purple prop is made from lightweight yet heavy-duty EVA foam, and its incline helps to support your wrists, feet, pelvic floor and joints throughout your flow.