How to Use a Yoga Strap in Your Practice

How to Use a Yoga Strap in Your Practice

Yoga straps, like any other prop, provide support that is why it is important to learn how to use a yoga strap, especially on the more challenging poses. At first, the straps that yogis used were makeshift ones. In fact, they were either neckties or cloths sewn together. Fortunately, during the 1970’s, B.K.S. Iyenger made a belt specifically designed for yoga. These belts have a stainless steel buckle and sliding bar and were made of cotton, but they were difficult to manipulate.

Then, the owner of Hugger Mugger, Sara Chambers, developed her own version which was made of a high-quality dog lead. It was about one or 1.5 inches wide and six-feet long. It also came with a D-ring buckle and more importantly, it was easy to adjust. From then on, different brands have developed their versions of yoga straps. Hence, the yoga straps today are made of different materials, and they come in various colors, lengths, and sizes as well.

How to Use a Yoga Strap on Different Yoga Poses

No matter what type of yoga strap you have, the way you use it will usually depend on the pose that you want to achieve.

  • Ardha Navasana or Boat Pose

To do this pose, place the middle of the strap at the bottom of your feet and hold its ends tightly while you position yourself in the boat pose. Make sure to put a slight bend on your knees and that your back is not rounded. This pose is excellent for strengthening the core but staying in it could be tricky. That is why using your yoga strap during this pose will definitely provide support so that you can hold the pose longer.

  • Natarajasana or Dancer’s Pose

You can incorporate your strap in this pose by making a loop using the buckle. Insert your foot and then pull it upwards from behind while your elbows are facing the sky. Make adjustments as needed and make sure that you feel a good stretch. The dancer’s pose is great for stretching the legs and strengthening the arms. This is a very challenging pose especially if you lack flexibility. Nonetheless, with the use of a yoga strap, you will be able to do it with ease and hold it longer.

  • Paschimottanasana or Seated Forward Fold

Put yourself in a seated position on your yoga mat and then place the middle of your strap at the bottom of your feet. Slowly extend your legs and fold forward up until you feel a good stretch. Although it may seem easy, doing this pose might be challenging for yogis who have very tight hamstrings. This pose is done to release the back and stretch the legs. Using a yoga strap provides support by helping you fold forward with ease even if you have tight hamstrings.

  • Bound Extended Side Angle Pose

Place the yoga strap on your shoulders for easy access later on. Start the pose by going into the Warrior II pose on the right side then, slowly move your torso forward. Put your right arm under your front leg and reach one end of the strap. After which, take the other end with your left hand and with the support of the yoga strap, position your torso into proper alignment. You may lift your head up and look into the sky if your neck permits or you may look into the floor. However, make sure that the neck and the spine are in proper alignment. Repeat the same process on the left side.

This pose will give a good leg and arm stretch, and it will help open up the shoulders. Since this is a twist, it massages the organs inside to help release toxins. The yoga strap is helpful if you have tight arms and shoulders.

  • Gomukhasana Arms or Cow Face Pose

Go into the easy pose or seated pose with your legs crossed in front and place the strap on your shoulder for easy access later on. Lift your right arm and bend it. Your right hand should be at your back now. Take the other end of the strap with the left hand by reaching it from your lower back. Straighten your posture with the help of the yoga strap and make sure that the spine is in the proper alignment. This pose stretches the arms and opens up the shoulders, and the yoga strap is helpful if your shoulders are tight.

  • Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose

To get into this pose, stand straight on your mat and make a loop in your strap with the use of the buckle. Then, insert your right foot on the loop and slowly lift your leg up until it’s extended. For this, you have to make sure that there is a slight bend in the knee. You may extend the left arm to the side for balance or place your left hand on your hip. Straighten your posture as you feel the stretch in the right hamstrings. Do the same process with your left leg.

If you have tight legs or you’ve done some heavy leg workouts, this pose is fantastic for stretching the muscles. It also helps with the posture because you are required to straighten your back during this pose.

Final Words

The yoga strap is not only used for the poses mentioned here but also for other poses that you might find difficult to do. Thus, learning how to use a yoga strap for different poses are going to be really helpful especially if you are a beginner who still lacks flexibility. Nevertheless, you need to know as well that the yoga prop is not only for beginners because advanced yogi practitioners can also use it for support.

After all, yoga is not about who is super flexible or not. This practice is all about mindfulness; it is about being aware of what you can and cannot do as well as moving at your own pace. The different yoga props are there to assist as you gradually progress from being a beginner to becoming an advanced yogi. So, whatever yoga practice you are into, you can use this prop to help you ease into easy and advanced poses.

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