10 Ways to Use a Yoga Strap (Photos Included)
You need more than a mat to properly perform yoga. Yoga straps are a great way to try out new stretches and they're commonly used at a yoga class. Most yoga straps are used as an extension of your arms or legs.
We're personally big fans of yoga straps because they can be used to help increase flexibility, practice new stretches, and stabilize joints. Therefore, we're going to show you ten ways you can use a yoga strap. Let's get started!
What is a Yoga Strap?
A yoga strap is a woven piece of soft cotton. It increases your range of motion, making it a valuable tool for those who are new to yoga. Yoga straps can usually come in a variety of sizes:
- 6 Feet
- 8 Feet
Most people tend to go with the 8-foot-long yoga strap, but this largely depends on how tall you are.
How Do You Use a Yoga Strap?
From side stretches to bound angle poses, there’s a litany of ways to use your yoga strap. Typically, you attach the yoga strap to one part of your body and then use another part of your body to stretch the yoga strap.
This type of movement is what helps build the muscles being targeted by the yoga strap.
10 Yoga Strap Stretches For You To Try Out
If you’re curious about what all your new strap can do, here are some stretches to try out with it. Most of these are beginner poses that can be implemented immediately.
1. Side Stretch
Hold the strap within your hands a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Sway slowly from side to side as you stretch and open your shoulders and both sides of your body.
2. Reclined Big Toe
Lie on your back with your legs outstretched. Pull one leg onto your chest so that you can put the strap around the ball of the foot. You should hold the ends of the strap with each hand.
From there, straighten your leg toward the ceiling. Your other leg should remain pressed toward the floor, and then you can switch legs.
3. Bound Angle
Make a loop with your strap so that you can place it around your sacrum and underneath your feet. Your legs should be as close to your body as possible. Lay down on your back so that your hips can open.
4. King Dancer’s Pose
Make a loop with the strap and place one foot in the loop. Standing next to a wall, raise your hands while the other one holds the end of the strap.
It’s important to note your elbows should point toward the sky at this point. Press onto the strap and move your hands along it, shortening it.
5. Hero Pose
For Hero Pose, sit on your shins and lay your butt on your feet. Start to walk your hands back to lay your elbows on the ground, stretching the quads. If accessible, lay your shoulders and head down to the ground. However, beginners should consider positioning the strap around their thighs to prevent your thighs from splaying out wide.
6. Triangle Pose
Begin by placing your legs apart and feet facing forward. If starting on the right side, your right foot should face the front of the mat and left foot should face 45 degrees to the left. Place the yoga strap between your hands, slightly wider than shoulders distance.
Keeping your hips and shoulders stacked, hinge the hips back as you start to tilt your chest and shoulders over your front leg. Maintain the extension through the arms, the yoga strap allows you to maintain length through the spine.
7. Extended Hand to Toe
Make a loop with your strap and place your foot into the loop. Lifting your knee, hang onto the strap with the same side hand. From there, gradually straighten your leg and move into the pose with both hands.
Once there, release the opposite hand to your waist. You should still be hanging onto the strap with the other hand.
8. Cow Face Arms
Position the strap to where it’s over your shoulder and going down the length of your back. Use one hand to hold the strap to the base of your neck while the other holds a piece of the strap along your spine.
9. Seated Forward Bend
Place the midsection of the strap around the ball of your feet. Hang onto the ends with your hands until your legs are straight.
Gently pull yourself forward while keeping space between your navel and your pubic bone.
10. King Pigeon
Reach back and grab your foot, potentially with aid from the strap. Bend at the knee to bring it up toward you, all while your right knee remains on the ground below the hip.
Benefits of Using a Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are great for beginners and those recovering from injuries. It allots for improved flexibility without placing greater strain on your muscles and joints.
Over time, it improves posture while giving you the sensation of greater arm length to reach areas of your body you may not have been able to access initially. It’s a tool you don’t want to overlook in your arsenal when you want to perform at your best.