Both beginners and seasoned veterans of yoga can benefit from using a yoga strap.
This must-have prop allows participants to have a little extra support in terms of deepened stretches and improved flexibility. Think of this handy strap as an extra extension of your arm.
When purchasing your strap, you’ll want to keep the size you choose in mind. They typically come in three different sizes (6 foot, 8 foot, or 10 foot.)
The option you choose ultimately will depend on your height, but usually, the middle option is a great versatile choice that works for most practitioners.
But once you’ve got that belt and you’re ready to get to work, how do you go about using it? Well, in this article we’ll walk you through some of the different ways that you can use this handy tool to make your yoga poses much easier.
Different Ways To Use A Yoga Strap
Extended Hand To Big Toe
You’ve probably heard of this stretching technique before. Its purpose is to stretch and strengthen both your legs and hips. However, easily being able to reach your big toe is a luxury that not all of us possess. It’s pretty difficult, after all.
If you struggle to reach your big toe, a yoga strap can help to modify the pose to be a little easier. But the best part is that you can still expect to reap all the benefits and rewards of the original pose!
All you’ll need to do is loop the strap around your foot and hold onto the strap from the other end. Then with a slightly bent leg, you’ll begin to slowly straighten your leg. Be sure to pull on the strap as you do so.
If things are still a little difficult, try leaning up against a wall for a little extra balance and support.
Full Dancer Pose
Don’t stress too much if you struggle with the full dancer pose as it is an advanced yoga pose (How much yoga is too much yoga? Find out here).
This pose has tons of benefits and helps to strengthen your legs, hips, and back too. But using a yoga strap can help transform the pose into more of a beginner to intermediate level.
You’ll want to loop the strap around your foot and then secure the other end with both hands over your shoulder. Then you’ll start to press your foot backward while lifting it up.
While doing so be sure to walk your hands down the strap to shorten the distance as required.
Cow Face Arms
This yoga pose helps to stretch and work out your shoulders, upper back, as well as your triceps. While it isn’t necessarily a difficult pose, it can be quite a challenge for anyone that struggles with tight shoulders.
Thankfully, the pose can be modified via the use of a yoga strap to make things a little easier.
All you have to do is hold onto the strap using both hands behind your back and neck. Then try to make your hands meet each other. Or as close to this point as you can.
If you can feel all that built-up tension in your back, then this stretch that works the shoulders, chest, and back is the perfect way to expel it all.
And by using a yoga strap executing the pose has never been easier.
Simply begin by starting in a sitting or standing position with your spine in a neutral position.
Then holding the strap from either end, raise it above your head. Be sure that your hands are further out than both of your shoulders. Then lower your arms and repeat the process as necessary.
Seated Forward Bend
This pose is known for stretching the back of your legs as well as your hips and spine.
Performing this pose with a yoga strap makes the whole process a little easier without losing any of the benefits from the stretch.
To perform it, you’ll want to hold the strap at either end and then place it around both of your feet.
You should then keep your spine long and gently begin to pull yourself forward. Once you start to feel the stretch on the back of your legs, you’ve successfully completed the pose.
Reclined Hand To Big Toe Pose
This pose is actually a variation of the very first pose we spoke about. However this time, you’ll be laying on your back to perform it.
This pose is a great way to stretch out and loosen up your lower back and hamstrings
Start by laying down on your mat and then loop the strap around your foot holding the strap at either end with your hands. Then start to slowly and gently pull your leg towards you.
This pose is known for targeting your back and legs along with your core too. For those who don’t have the strongest core, it can actually be quite a difficult and challenging task. And it’s not much easier for those with tight hamstrings either.
However, this is where your yoga strap will come in handy. With the strap firmly in each hand at either end, you’ll want to loop the strap around your feet.
Then you can start to slowly lean back while raising your feet from the ground. Try and find your balance by sitting back on your bum bones, keep your legs bent, and then as you progress try to get them straighter.
Would you believe that these few poses only begin to skim the surface of the number of different ways a yoga strap can help you? As you can see, the role of a yoga strap is to lend a helping hand for those poses that you might otherwise not be able to complete.
The more you practice yoga poses with this strap, the more your flexibility will increase and before you know it, you’ll be able to complete all those advanced poses without a helping hand at all!