Yoga Strap


Ahhh yes! We love our yoga props!Especially our favorite yoga strap, right!Well, the truth is that many of us have a love/hate relationship with using yoga props of any kind. Many stubborn students view props as a crutch and even a sign of weakness. Of course, this is a terrible way to view yoga props. Props can be a wonderful aid to any practice and help to teach life-long good habits and alignment on your mat.The trusty yoga strap certainly has its place among the list of props every yogi should have on the shelf. Like most yoga props, straps aren’t exactly sexy on the mat, and you may not feel super cool while using it, but it doesn’t matter!A good reliable yoga strap can teach you some important lessons, especially beginners! So, before you toss that strap aside, take the time to see how it might just do wonders for your practice!


Yoga Strap Basics


Yoga Strap Types

The yoga strap is a pretty simple prop!It’s safe to say that there isn’t nearly as much to take into consideration when purchasing one, as opposed to purchasing yoga blocks. For example, yoga blocks come in a variety of types, all with different advantages and disadvantages. Straps are much easier to navigate.Basically, yoga straps come in three sizes of 6, 8, and 10 feet in length. Usually a yoga strap is made of either cotton or nylon. Fortunately, you can usually choose from a range of colors.Typically, one of the most important things to consider with a strap is the type of cinch. The cinch is the mechanism for attaching the strap ends together to form a loop. Cinch styles include the metal D-ring and plastic buckle. Plus, there are some quick release options. Plastic buckles will likely feel more secure and less likely to slip, metal D-rings will allow for quicker adjustment, but they may not provide the yogi with as much confidence in security.Of course, you will have to experiment with straps to determine which one will work best for your practice. Fortunately, it won’t cost very much to own a few straps. The average yoga strap will only cost you around $5 to $7, so they won’t break the bank. Shop For Straps!


How A Yoga Strap Can Help

The purpose of a yoga strap isn’t a complex one. Much like yoga blocks, a strap helps to act as an extension of your arms while practicing certain postures. A yoga strap can also help with maintaining balance and proper alignment during your time on the mat.It’s common for beginner students to strain or stretch too far in many poses, this can cause bad posture alignment and even lead to injuries. Using a strap to extend the arm or hand can prevent this over reaching and keep the student in proper alignment. In restorative yoga classes, straps are commonly used to provide support in certain poses, so they can be help for longer periods of time.It’s also worth noting that a yoga strap can also be beneficial in helping with some advanced poses. For example, arm balances like Forearm Stand can make use of a strap to prevent the arms from sliding too far apart during the inversion.There are some examples below of yoga poses that can benefit from the aid of a yoga strap. However, this is only a small sampling. You will likely discover that a strap can help you in many other postures as well.


Yoga Poses Made Easier


Yoga Strap for Shoulders

Shoulder Openers:

There are a variety of yoga poses that can help to open and stretch the shoulders. Our shoulders can hold stress and tension, so a nice stretch can be very beneficial. This is especially true for people who spend their day behind a desk and suffer from poor posture.

As you can see in the photo above, it’s simple to incorporate a yoga strap to help open the shoulders. Simply grip the strap with both hands, keep the hands just wider than the shoulders and then slowly move the hands forward and backward, be careful not to go too far behind your head. This posture is also great for improving posture.


Bound Angle Pose:

Yoga Strap Bound Angle

Straps are also very common during restorative style poses. A yoga strap can help provide support and control while holding these types of poses for longer periods of time. If you try a restorative yoga class, chances are you will be offered a strap and block.

In the above pose, you see Reclined Bound Angle or Baddha Konasana (Cobblers Pose). This posture provides a great hip opener and thigh stretch. As you can see, the strap is used to provide support and control the distance of the feet from the torso. Simply loop the strap, place to around the waist and underneath the feet, and then tighten to pull the feet closer.


Yoga Strap Seated Forward Fold

Seated Forward Fold:

A yoga strap can also be used in the very simple seated posture, Seated Forward Fold Pose. In this posture, the strap acts as an extension of the hands or arms. Using the strap can prevent straining if the student lacks flexibility and keep better alignment in the posture.

Just loop the strap around the feet, adjust the length and grip both ends of the strap. As your flexibility improves you can adjust the length of the strap and eventually you may be able to reach your feet with your hands.

Yoga Strap Dolphin Pose


Arm Balances:

Yoga straps can also aid you with more difficult arm balances and arm balance preparatory postures. These types of poses require proper arm alignment and placement. Many students may struggle with the arms wanting to spread apart or slide during the pose. Obviously, this could create a danger of injury.

In the above photo of Dolphin Pose, you can see how a yoga strap can be used to prevent the arms from moving and provide stability. Just adjust the strap to the proper loop size and place it around the arms. Be careful not to allow the slack of the strap to get in your way.

Yoga Strap Boat Pose


Boat Pose:

Boat Pose is an intermediate to advanced seated posture that will test your core strength and balance. The primary challenges of this posture include engaging the core, balance and keeping a straight back. A strap could help with providing support and balance. Plus, the strap will aid with removing strain from the lower back.

Just loop the strap to the proper size and place it around your back and feet. Pressing into the strap with your back and feet will help attain balance and should also help with using the core and reducing lower back tension.


Yoga Strap Class

The above video with Ariana Lebedev is a fun 30-minute class focused on using a yoga strap. The class will incorporate using a strap with a variety of poses, some are easy, and some are a bit more difficult. Stream More Classes!
As mentioned earlier, yoga straps and other yoga props can prove to be a great asset to your practice. Beginner yoga students will likely find props to be the most useful as they will protect from injury and encourage proper pose alignment.The good news is that adding a yoga strap to your practice won’t cost you much money, but it could be a valuable tool to improving your practice!