Yoga straps are an essential tool for any Yogi. They provide support and stability during poses, help to deepen stretches, and even act as an extension of your arms to reach farther or bridge gaps while maintaining a safe distance between the body and the floor. Yoga straps come in various lengths and thicknesses, so there’s a type that fits your practice perfectly. In this guide, we will discuss what types of yoga straps you can use and how to put them on correctly.
Types of Straps: There are several types of yoga straps available on the market today. The most common strap is a cotton strap, which is lightweight and perfect for beginner yogis. Cotton Straps range from 3ft – 8ft in length and generally provide moderate support. Another type of strap is a woven fabric belt, made from hemp or other natural fibers; this style provides more support without compromising comfort. Additionally, there are wide straps that usually have large metal D-rings which provide more stability than smaller straps; this makes them ideal for heavy stretching as well as wrapping around larger body parts such as your chest or waist for assistance with poses like Wheel Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasna). The last type of strap is a harness strap; these usually have thick webbing material with adjustable buckle closures. These straps offer the highest level of support among all the types but can be uncomfortable if not used properly.
Putting On Your Strap: Once you’ve chosen your type of strap, it’s time to learn how to put it on safely and securely. After looping the center portion through itself, wrap one end around one arm across your back at shoulder height before doing the same with the other end around your opposite arm—clip both ends together when they meet in front of you chest. When wrapping around yourself make sure to close the buckle snugly but not too tight so that you can still move freely while receiving maximum benefit from using your strap during poses without sacrificing comfort . From here you’re ready to start shifting into deeper stretches!
Choosing the right yoga strap is important before you put it on. Consider what kind of yoga practice you are doing, as well as your body type and flexibility. A 6-8 foot cotton or nylon strap is usually the most versatile, allowing you to use it for a variety of poses. Additionally, consider the width and buckles — smaller straps with thin buckles tend to work better for more delicate poses while thicker straps and wider buckles are more robust (and supportive) if you have tight flexibility.
Once you have chosen the right yoga strap for your practice, set up can be quick and easy. To begin, loop the strap around whatever body part you plan to use it for: wrists, arms/shoulders or feet/lower legs. The buckle should be on top of your body part (or closest to your heart). If needed, adjust accordingly until there are no loose ends — this ensures a secure fit while preventing any slipping or coming undone during use. Finally, some gentle stretches before starting can help get your muscles warmed up, as well as help familiarize yourself with how the strap feels on your body!
1. Find an appropriate size yoga strap for your body. Measure from just above the palms of your hands to a comfortable distance (generally between two and four feet depending on the pose) to determine how long you need the strap to be.
2. Wrap the middle of the strap around your waist with one hand, holding it in place near your hip bone.
3. With the other hand, bring both sides of the strap up until they meet in front of your chest and hold them securely in place with both hands.
4. Bring each end together over your shoulder so that they meet while still keeping pressure on both sides of your waist where the strap is pressed together behind you.
5. Twist both ends together and tie securely into a knot close to your shoulder blades or neck area, making sure that it will not come untied at anytime during practice or squeezing it slightly as needed once tying it to ensure it is secure.
6. Test out the length and fit of your yoga strap by checking for comfort at each point where it touches your body as well as ensuring there is enough space between each segment when extended over either shoulder so that any movement from poses will not cause discomfort or threaten its security.
Refining Your Form
When putting on or adjusting a Yoga Strap, it is important to ensure that you are doing it in a way that will promote strength and stability while stretching. Before proceeding with the belt, practice the pose and assess which areas of your body feel weak and need support. If you’re using the strap for stretches, set your straps just beyond arm’s length apart and stand firmly with your feet hip distance apart, grounding down through all four corners of your feet. Step into the Strap with both hands one foot at a time until you have them placed firmly around each foot, slightly closer to the toes than to the ankle joints. Ensure there is enough room for movement without unnecessarily tightening around the legs. After securely fastening the buckle, hold onto each side of the strap then step back into Warrior II placing as much weight as comfortable onto each leg. When stretching arms forward, keep fingers wide and stretched outwards taking slow deep breaths while fluctuating between flexion and extension of spine to increase flexibility further. You may choose to spread the two ends of strap wider apart if necessary when stretching further though ensure little strain excess motion is still possible during stretches. As you get comfortable with understanding how each part of your body interacts with one another, use this provides opportunity for exploration then slowly build up resistance throughout duration of session ending in more calming poses such as Child’s Pose or Gentle Backbend then releasing from tension by breathing deeply into stomach area stimulating relaxation of body before concluding stretch session.
Avoid Common Mistakes
When it comes to using a yoga strap, there are some common mistakes that can lead to injury or simply make the practice less effective. To ensure you get the full benefit of your yoga practice and prevent any injuries, here are a few mistakes to avoid when putting on your yoga strap:
1. Not Tightening Enough: Make sure your yoga strap is tight enough so you can keep the correct form for each pose but not too tight as over-tightening can cause discomfort or even injury.
2. Relying Too Much on a Yoga Strap: A yoga strap should not be used to replace muscle engagement, as you will miss out on key benefits from certain postures if you rely too heavily on relying on the strap instead of engaging your core and limb muscles for support.
3. Neglecting Proper Alignment: Before tying your yoga strap around your wrists, hips, etc., make sure your hands, arms and legs are properly aligned in order to gain the optimal benefit from the pose and avoid strain or injury.
4. Not Practicing Proper Adjustments: When adjusting poses with a yoga belt, start small; gradate wider rather than larger if needed. When widening standing postures such as eagle pose or tree pose using a strap around both ankles at once may seem logical but holds down the hips causing imbalance in the other directions which can lead to muscle pull or straininng sensitive joints.
Take It Further
Using a yoga strap during advanced poses can be beneficial in exploring further the postures and creating balance. It can help go further into poses, complete asymmetrical exercises, or even combine them with regular poses. Here are some examples of how to use a yoga strap for more challenging practices:
1. Shoulder Mobility – The strap helps better stretch the shoulders and back muscles by stretching one arm out at a time while keeping the spine straight and releasing the tension from the arms.
2. Chest Opener – You can loop one end of the strap around your chest and hold it up with your hands. While going deeper into the pose start reaching forward as far as you feel comfortable, pressing through your feet evenly on both sides regulating breathing throughout with each breath expanding further and receding slightly on each exhale.
3. Headstand – For extra core engagement you can place your palms on either side of your head and then intertwine your fingers behind it holding onto ends of the yoga belt while lifting your legs upward stabilized by the strap pulling against shoulders adding tension to deepen engagement in core muscles when wanting to go deeper in Asana practice.
4. Balance Postures – Placing one end under ones foot and then helping utilizing an ankle band to ensure stability restrain from wobbling or falling off balance also helping increase flexibility in hips joint, tap into strength exploregoing lower then usual for an easier stance as well master Crow Pose (Bakasana).
Using a yoga strap can provide many benefits and uses. A yoga strap is useful for stretching and can help to deepen stretches, build stability and improve flexibility. It is also helpful for practicing poses with proper alignment and for maintaining balance in difficult to maintain positions. The use of a yoga strap also allows for increased awareness of breath and body movement, developing greater control over one’s own movements. Lastly, it may be used as an aid in challenging postures which can lead to improved focus and concentration while engaging in the practice as well as improved physical coordination. All in all, a yoga strap has the ability to enhance the physical practice of yoga making it more rewarding and beneficial.
Putting on a Yoga Strap is easy. To begin, stand up straight with feet hip-width apart and the strap hanging in front of you. Hold both ends of the yoga strap in each hand, one end at either end of the strap, and wrap it around your lower back once or twice as desired (avoid wrapping too tightly). Cross the ends of the strap behind your mid-back or chest area to secure it in place, and then slowly pull on both ends until the yoga strap is snug but not tight. Depending on what type of practice you are doing, you can either keep your arms straight at your sides for support during poses, or use the strap to hold onto for longer stretches.
1. Vaynberg R., Tkaching S., Leigh S., & Robbins E. (2021). Benefits of Using A Yoga Strap During Exercise. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/yoga-strap
2. Tribukait P., & Marano H., (Eds.). (2019). The Everything Yoga Book: Achieve Physical And Spiritual Enrichment Through The Timeless Techniques Of Yoga. Adams Media Corporation: Avon, MA
Additional Resources on Yoga Strap Use:
1. What You Need to Know About Using A Yoga Strap? – Blackberry Lane Studio | Guelph’s Holistic Wellness Residence (2020). Retrieved April 12, 2021 from https://www.blackberrylanestudio.ca/post/116470234067/what-you-need-to-know-about-using-a-yoga
2. Yoga Straps – Hernández Pérez ME . Retrieved April 12 , 2021 from https://www20310u205173982163814x1771930781y7267u8152n45985251d58113596b5233214851087z6375807412o441785728628011720727431871v394915456997115e98426403t227686055695669363407972194r9195334f46334973696061f66625718269516a54432945517532816202s2111472797536735907479
I am passionate about yoga and this is my blog. I have been practicing yoga for over 10 years and teaching for 5. Yoga has transformed my life in so many ways and I love being able to share that with others. My hope is that through this blog, I can help people learn more about yoga, connect with other yogis, and find inspiration to live a healthier, happier life.