A Yoga Strap: Do You Really Need One?
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Regardless of if you are a beginner, or if you have been doing yoga for years, using a yoga strap is a great way to improve the effectiveness of your practice. Adding props can assist in building increased strength, improving flexibility, and deepening poses. Props should be viewed as a set of essential tools.
Yoga straps are one of the first tools you should think about purchasing. They are extremely inexpensive and will do so much for your practice by improving your alignment and flexibility.
How a Yoga Strap Can Help You
1. Lengthen Reach
Yoga straps allow you to lengthen your reach in order to keep proper posture. Often when we aren’t flexible enough we compromise posture and correct form to get into a pose. When this is the case we end up rounding our back and tensing our shoulders to desperately try to contort into a pose. Forward fold is a great example of a pose where a strap can help maintain a relaxed form in the pose.
Straps also help lengthen our reach in poses where we need to bind our arms. If you lack flexibility in your shoulders it can make binding poses completely inaccessible. Using a strap in this instance will allow you to gradually build flexibility in order to eventually be able to get into your arm bind on your own.
Seated Forward Fold
Cow Face Arms
2. Aid In Alignment
A strap can be very helpful in correcting your alignment. In poses like chaturanga, down dog, crow, forearm stand, and handstand it’s important to keep your elbows tucked in close to the body. To help remind your body to keep your elbows tucked, and increase proprioception, you can form a loop and place it around your arms.
3. Support & Release
Binding a strap and using it for support can allow you to relax and fully release into a pose. For example, you can use a strap in supine bound angle to support your knees, and allow the lower back to release. Similarly, if you use a strap around the upper legs in legs up the wall pose you will allow the legs and lower back to release and relax fully.
Supine Bound Angle
Legs Up the Wall
4. Brace & Balance
Yoga straps can also help with your balance by reducing tension through the body, extending your reach, and giving you something to brace against. Boat pose is a great example of a pose where a yoga strap helps to support your balance. You can either grasp the strap in your hands and place it under the balls of your feet, or create a long loop going around the balls of your feet then around your back.
In standing poses like extended hand to big toe pose or dancer pose you can have a hard time balancing if you don’t have enough flexibility in your extended leg. Using a strap allows you to stay relaxed through your standing leg and the rest of your body.
Extended Hand to Bid Toe
Yoga Strap Types
Deciding what type of strap is right for you comes down to personal preference. I’ll cover information on the most common types of yoga straps so you can select a yoga strap that’s right for your practice.
1. Standard Yoga Strap
Standard yoga straps are made of a long strap with a cinch at one end. Staps typically come in lengths of 6′, 8′, and 10′. The material of the strap itself is us