You may have seen yoga straps next to yoga cushions and blocks at a local yoga class and wondered what their use is. Yoga straps are a great tool to make the stretches more accessible, safer, and perhaps super manageable for beginners. I exercise using a yoga strap every time to improve my exercises and make it extra fun. But how precisely do we use yoga strap? What precisely are the benefits of using a yoga strap? In this article, we are going to answer these questions and many more.
The Benefits of Exercising Yoga with Yoga Strap
Props may similarly be useful to yoga exercises and may come in handy at every level, not just for beginners. Here are various ways through which exercising yoga using yoga straps may help you.
- Alignment Correction
This is undeniably the most significant benefit of using a yoga strap for me. Some individuals focus so much on accomplishing a particular posture to an extent of neglecting or forgetting the correct alignment completely. You see so many learners with wrong hip alignment while exercising postures such as Mermaid Pose, or Rounded Backs while practicing forward positions. That is because it usually takes time to get used to, “yoga mindset” of paying attention to your body and not using a lot of force.
Every time we try to push ourselves to the limits at any sporting activity, to this extent, it’s only natural that we would exercise yoga with the same mindset as we begin. The challenge is that incorrect alignment may be relatively risky and may lead to spinal pains or generally feeling unwell. This is precisely the opposite of what we are trying to accomplish.
A yoga strap lets you exercise postures with proper alignment with no risk of injury.
- Advancing Your Exercise
As mentioned earlier, this should not be the primary reason for your yoga exercise; however, learning a new posture may be inspiring. It may make us feel better about our practice and appreciate the things our bodies can achieve. By using yoga straps, we may get access to postures that may have been challenging for us earlier and get a better feeling of how a posture ought to feel.
My foot does not come into contact with my head yet while practicing Pigeon; however, I am aware of how my arms and hips should be aligned. I just hold onto exercising the posture with yoga strap up to a point when I finally feel prepared to get rid of the strap and touch my head to my toes safely.
The same applies to any other yoga poses. If you hold onto exercising it using a yoga strap and the proper alignment, you will ultimately reach a point of executing the full posture without props.
Yoga straps are not just for beginners. There’re ways of enhancing your alignment every time, irrespective of how progressive your yoga practice is. They are particularly suitable for learners in their early stages because they allow them to feel how proper alignment ought to be. However, every one of us has tight areas regardless of years or months of exercise, so do not feel afraid to use a strap irrespective of your level.
- Deepening The Stretch
Your stretches will feel more in-depth due to the excellent alignment, but a lot better as well. I did not realize what was lacking until I began exercising using a strap. If you do not have a yoga strap at your hand, you may similarly utilize a scarf, a towel, or even a belt. However, I advise acquiring a real strap should you choose to continue your exercise with props.
So, Let’s Look At Exactly How to Use Yoga Strap
Before you begin exercising using a strap, you may need to ensure you are getting the correct yoga strap. Acquire a cotton yoga strap to prevent cuts/injuries. If you are a bit tall, you could consider acquiring a longer strap as well.
At that point, choose if you would like a yoga strap with a buckle or a loop. I have a yoga strap with two sliding loops at both ends. It is easy to exercise with, it’s modifiable, and additionally doubles as a yoga mat carrier. As soon as you find your ideal yoga strap, you may get started.
Different Ways on How to Use Yoga Strap
A strap works to fulfill three primary purposes: deepening, alignment, and lengthening. These three components are crucial to exercising yoga effectively and safely enhancing your exercise and receiving the maximum benefit from it.
As stated before, yoga straps may assist you in correcting your alignment. I use a yoga strap to adjust alignments in vital postures such as Navasana or Chaturanga. Having a yoga strap lets, you experience how the pose ought to feel. Once you experience how the position should be correctly exercised, your risk of injury reduces, and you will find it easier to build up the power to practice full yoga poses. This is because you are confident that you are genuinely working the right muscles.
Another significant benefit of using a yoga strap is that it lets you deepen your stretches, such as Seated Forward Folds. With a yoga strap, you may go a lot deeper in a posture without necessarily sacrificing the alignment until you are finally capable of exercising full postures with the right alignment without using a strap. Significant examples include King Dancer or Binds.
Another beneficial aim is to prevent compression as well as reach further in a yoga pose. It may be challenging to stretch to your feet in a Bow Pose for the first time. A yoga strap, therefore, may help you reach to your feet with no compression to your spine. Your legs will have a broader motion range and may reach higher up.
Hand to Big Toe Pose is another beautiful example. Rather than rounding your spine and shoulders to stretch to your toe, you allow your body additional motion range through using the strap to extend your arm. This will ultimately permit you to get rid of the yoga strap and exercise full poses without strain.
Best Yoga Strap Postures for Beginners
You may use a yoga strap in every yoga pose in a lot of ways to help in-depth, alignment, and length. Here, we will look at 5 poses that show the most common way to use a yoga strap in various postures.
Lengthen and Deepen
One of the most significant ways to utilize a strap is to offer you an additional length that deepens into a posture. To be able to do this, your body requires being able to relax into a pose to get rid of tension.
Below are various ways through which you may use a yoga strap in poses to make deep your yoga poses for purposes of enhancing your flexibility and release tension and tightness.
- Seated Forward Fold
Seated Forward Fold is a fantastic hamstring stretch; however, it’s commonly missed because of poor alignment. Most often, practitioners let their backs curve since they’re trying to stretch their hands to touch their legs or feet while they lack length.
Using a yoga strap in this pose assist you in exercising correct alignment through preventing you back from bending, and then allow for a deeper stretch in your hamstrings.
How to use a strap in Seated Forward Fold:
- Sit on your yoga mat and bend the knees to place the yoga strap under your feet balls.
- Begin to straighten out your legs and flex your feet, breathe out and bend your legs with a straight back. You do not have to move far here, just to feel stretch in your hamstrings.
- Similarly, this posture is perfect for any forward fold adjustments such as the knee to head pose.
2. Reclined Big Toe
This pose is the reclined form of Hand to Big Toe posture. It offers an extended hamstrings stretch. However, it may be almost impossible to exercise efficiently and safely if you are not flexible. Using a strap is beneficial in this posture.
Using a yoga strap in this pose offers your arms an extra length rather than hanging down onto your foot or leg with your hands, which may lead to round back or bend the leg.
How to Use a Strap in Reclined Big Toe
- Lie on your back, bend the right knee close to your chest, put the yoga strap underneath your right football, and make straight your leg while holding both ends of the yoga strip.
- Keep adjusting the yoga strap till you can comfortably lie down with shoulders on the floor. Repeat this with the other side.
Bow posture is a fantastic chest opener for new learners to get ready for backbends and enhance their shoulder mobility. However, this posture may be uncomfortable if you start your yoga classes and have incredibly tight shoulders. Using a strap offers extra strength to your arms to achieve the backbend and make the chest opener a bit milder.
Using a yoga strap offers extra strength to your arms if you don’t have adequate flexibility to ultimately reach back towards your feet because of inadequate motion range in the chest or shoulders area. In addition to this, it makes backbend milder and lets your body get used to the bend slowly.
How to use a yoga strap in Bow Pose
- Lie down with your stomach
- Bend the knees and suspend your yoga strap around the ankles, hold both ends of the yoga strap and begin moving the hands towards your feet.
- Kick your legs and feet into the yoga strap and lift your knees off the yoga mat.
- You could rock backward and forward a little bit if you are breathing intensely, that’s fine.
Butterfly yoga pose or bound angle is a fantastic hip opener; however, it may also be challenging to concentrate on if you are experiencing a challenging time upholding a straight back. Utilizing a yoga strap in Bound angle does not just support you back to ensure a proper posture but also pulls your heels in closure to deepen your hip stretch.
Using a yoga strap in Bound Angle allows correct alignment by providing support to your lower back and pulling your feet into your body, hence promoting an extended hip stretch.
How to utilize a strap in Bound Angle
- Begin with a seated pose with your heels sitting and touching with a tall spine.
- Wrap the strap around you back, pull the strap’s ends towards your feet.
- Loop the yoga strap around your feet and make it tight until you experience a comfortable pull on the lower back and heels.
- Let your feet come in to make more profound the stretch while also providing support to your lower back.
Seated Side Stretch
This is a great exercise to stretch tight shoulders. In most cases, however, people don’t have the motion range to their shoulders and therefore end up collapsing through the chest, hence lowering the benefits. A yoga strap is great to counter this.
Using this yoga strap in Seated Side Stretch makes your chest and shoulders open rather than collapsing downward. You may start to pull your hands towards each other to attain a deeper stretch.
How to use a strap in the seated side stretch
- Hold out your yoga strap in front of you with hands at arms distance apart.
- Begin lifting the yoga strap over the head and then down your back. If this is challenging, practice the complete movement. Avoid bending your arms, extend the distance in between your arms, and repeat the stretch till you feel like a comfortable distance.
- If you are comfortable, start bending to the side, ensuring your chest is lifted, and the back is straight through engaging your core.
There are countless ways on how to use yoga strap. Therefore, I hope that this article gave you some of the ideas to practice to deepen, lengthen, improve your alignment, and advance your yoga practice.