Whether you're brand new to yoga or a very-bendy veteran, holding the right position when your wrists are on fire is never fun, let alone relaxing. Standard planks, downward dog, crow—the list of asanas that can strain your wrists goes on and on. Layer on pain from carpal tunnel, tendinits, or lingering injuries, and finding your flow can feel like a Herculean feat.
The good news is, powering through vinyasa no longer requires you to sacrifice your comfort. A number of supportive blocks, plush towels, and therapeutic bands have entered the yoga scene promising better positioning while taking a load off of tender wrists. The one we never hit the studio without? These silicone Guiding Yoga Grips ($35) from Uncommon Goods, which will totally transform your practice with a simple stick onto your mat.
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Never feel that mid-flow wrist burn again with these sturdy, sticky grips. Positioned at the end of your mat, they engage your arm and core muscles while dispersing weight throughout your wrists for better positioning and happier hands.
These grippy gadgets are as simple as shavasana—they stick onto the end of your mat, giving your hands a place to grab through all sorts of positions. As creator Rose Pelosi noted on Uncommon Goods, some yoga asanas wear out the wrists quicker than others, like cobra pose, low plank, and of course, downward dog. "There’s a tendency to hold most of your weight in the heels of your hands, leading to unnecessary pressure in the wrist," she said.
That's where these grounding tools come into play. Crafted from a soft-but-sturdy silicone, they provide a tool that engages your upper body while dispersing weight throughout your hands, giving your wrists a much-needed break mid-flow. They sort of look like the rubber holds you climb in when you're indoor rock climbing, only this time, they're made to alleviate grip strength and dexterity rather than testing it. This allows you to focus on your practice, your breathing, and your flow state, rather than honing in on the fire in your hands.
Before the start of your practice, give your yoga mat a good cleaning. (Per Uncommon Goods, a rub down with sea salt is recommended, although a mat-safe cleaner that's going to buff away sweat, dirt, and factory film should do the trick.) After it dries, position your Guiding Yoga Grips shoulder width apart and 6-8 inches from the top of your mat. Think of where your hands naturally end up in downward dog—this is where your grips will go. Once you've figured out where you want them to stick, unpeel the backing and press them firmly into your mat. Presto—you've got yourself a built-in adjuster that will take a serious load off your hands, wrists, and fingers during tenuous times.
Only thing to note is they're designed to stick and stay on your mat. Make sure you like the positioning the grips are in before you attach them because once they're there, they're there. This can make travel to-and-from the studio a little different—your mat can definitely still roll, it might just roll a little differently. Otherwise, they're a ridiculously easy (and affordable) way to fire up your arm muscles, save your wrists, and go with the flow.
Still not digging your downward dog? Watch the video below for simple adjustment tips that make a big difference in your flow.
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