Yoga Straps Support
The best function of props such as yoga blocks and yoga straps lies in helping people fit a pose to their body. They help intermediate and advanced practitioners deepen their stretches, maintain proper alignment and challenge themselves.
A good yoga practice needs nothing more than your body, your breath and nice space with enough room for your movements; however, yoga props are very helpful in creating sthira (steadiness) and sukha (comfort). They are perfect for accommodating practitioners with anatomical differences, tight muscles and joints or limited flexibility.
Where blocks help bring the floor closer to you, a yoga strap aids in stretching tight hamstrings and shoulders and also allows you to “reach” your feet when in seated and reclining poses.
Poses & Stretches
Though generally used in Iyengar or Restorative Yoga, this little tool can be incorporated in other and more vigorous yoga styles such as Vinyasa Flow. When thinking of how to use a yoga strap, the best example during practice is the Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Big Toe Pose). This pose is quite the challenge for both flexible people and those with tight hamstrings.
To root the standing foot to the ground, expand the body while reaching the sky with one hand and extend the leg outward requires a lot of balance and support. Using a yoga strap will provide additional support for your extended leg when the flexibility is not there yet and help you maintain your body’s structural integrity.
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose) is a good example of how a yoga strap can help support correct alignment for people with tight hamstrings. It will help you to raise the leg at an angle that is agreeable to you and will prevent your spine from curving.
Yoga Straps Help Correct Alignment
If like many other practitioners, you’ve found yourself of overreaching in poses, not holding your back in the correct position or slumping at times, a yoga strap will help keep you in alignment and do the pose correctly. Maintaining your correct form reduces the risk of injury or muscle fatigue and your body being in the correct position allows your breath to flow easier making you feel less drowsy.
Yoga Strap To Track Progress
Yoga straps are a great tool for monitoring your balance, flexibility and lengthening development. Day by day, you will see that your reach in Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Big Toe Pose) is closer and higher and that less strap length is needed to hold the pose. In addition, all the other poses will become easier to do, but don’t think that the strap is no longer useful. There is always a way to increase the challenge and push your body further.
You can also track your progress with loops. Most yoga straps that you can today use several loops. These loops can be used to track improvements. As you progress you simply move to the next loop for a deeper and more challenging stretch.
Best Yoga Strap
The best yoga straps are durable, lightweight, and inexpensive.
The Gaiam yoga strap is a standard in the industry because it is very reliable. This strap is soft and very easy to use, you can adjust it without any problem and it will work really well for you if you have a Gaiam mat.
Manduka’s yoga strap is made from thick cotton, has a buckle to keep it in place, and comes in 8- and 10-foot versions, so it’s more than long enough for any type of pose.
Lululemon’s No Limits Stretching yoga strap is designed to give you the extra length and support you need in deep stretches and binds. This brand also has a non-slip yoga strap with loops.
DIY Yoga Mat Strap
Although this last paragraph is not directly related to the practice of yoga, it nonetheless deserves a place in the list of benefits. In case you want to save money on the yoga mat bag you can transform your yoga strap into a yoga sling.
You can also opt to create your own yoga mat strap with a little DIY. You will need 3.80 Cm D-rings, 130 cm thick fabric, sewing pins, a sewing machine and fabric scissors and a good tutorial like this one!