Depending on the type of yoga classes you've attended, you may have been asked to incorporate a foam wedge into your exercise routine. These wedges serve a variety of purposes, from providing additional support and cushion to adding an extra level of challenge for advanced yoga students. The context behind the wedge's use can vary considerably, but this prop nearly always is a welcome addition to any yoga course. If you're thinking of incorporating a wedge into your yoga routine, you'll find advice for this prop's uses at every ability level on the yoga spectrum:
Yoga Wedges and Beginner Classes: Comfort and Support
Often, yoga beginners find themselves heavily discouraged by the all too common experience of discomfort. This may arise from a lack of flexibility or strength, not to mention the sheer unfamiliarity surrounding the unique movement patterns seen in your typical yoga session. In many cases, this discomfort can be navigated through the assistance of a well-placed wedge. The wedge may set under the lower back during poses on which the participant is on the floor, or under the knees for such moves as the cat or cow.
Using Yoga Wedges in Intermediate and Advanced Courses
Yoga students who have mastered such basics as the downward dog and sun salutation may take only a few weeks to move on to more complicated moves. Sometimes, though, the transition between beginner moves and advanced poses can be a difficult one, as there are few yoga poses designated as "intermediate" in nature. Wedges, however, can be used to bridge that gap, giving the assistance required for lower-level students attempting more challenging moves.
This use of yoga wedges proves particularly beneficial in vinyasa yoga classes, during which students may be asked to take part in an increasing number of weight-bearing poses. Often, the most difficult part of these poses is dealing with the discomfort of placing so much weight on the hands and wrists. Once a yoga wedge has been placed underneath those aching hands, the student can shift his or her focus to proper alignment and posture.
Whether you're just starting out in yoga or consider yourself a lifelong yogi, you should have no trouble finding situations in which wedges can be incorporated into your regular routine. Use them as cushioning or to add an element of challenge -- either way, don't be afraid to think outside of the box!