While you can practice yoga on the ground with nothing but your body, yoga straps can improve the comfort and effectiveness of your sessions. In this blog, we'll go through the basics of the yoga strap, the reasons to use it, and some great yoga strap poses you can attempt on your own.
What Is a Yoga Strap?
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Yoga straps are non-elastic cotton or nylon bands that are used during yoga practice to provide practitioners with a full range of motion. These bands make it simpler to strike and maintain challenging poses that might otherwise be inaccessible.
Benefits of Using a Yoga Strap
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Regardless of your level of experience, yoga straps can provide you with several benefits such as:
1) Yoga Straps Help to Correct Alignment
Some people are so focused on adopting a certain yoga pose that they completely disregard proper alignment. Incorrect alignment can be harmful and cause back pain, which is the exact opposite of what yoga is intended to help you achieve. With the use of a yoga strap, you can get into various poses safely and with the proper alignment.
2) Yoga Straps Improve Flexibility
When you're stiff or have tight muscles or joints, it might be challenging to hold a particular yoga position. By using a yoga strap, you can extend your arm and legs to access portions of your body that are out of reach. Additionally, you can also continue to hold several poses or stretches without losing your form.
3) Yoga Straps Improve Balance
When practicing yoga, maintaining balance is essential. Since beginners typically lack this quality, yoga straps help them perform difficult poses without compromising their form. As you get more experienced, both flexibility and balance improve.
4) Yoga Straps Can Help in Muscle Strengthening
A yoga strap can be used to create extra resistance to help your muscles get stronger. This is possible since yoga straps are composed of materials that do not stretch, so they can be pulled and kept tight during isometric holds.
5) Yoga Straps Can Improve Your Posture
Even when doing yoga, maintaining a good posture can be challenging. You can use a yoga strap to guide and direct your back into the proper position. To achieve this, pull your shoulder blades back and tighten the yoga strap over your shoulders and under each armpit. This will help your posture.
How to Use Yoga Straps
Although there are probably a million different ways to use a yoga strap, here are our top 8 favorite asanas. You can use any type of yoga strap to perform these poses but the Acupoint Yoga Strap is our favorite since it is easy to use, aesthetically pleasing, comfortable to hold, and exceptionally sturdy.
1) Dancer Pose
The Dancer Pose is a great pose to practice your stability while holding your leg in a strap and standing on one foot.
To perform the Dancer Pose, follow the steps below:
- Wrap the strap or place your left foot into the loop of the strap while holding the other end with both hands over your shoulder.
- Close the gap between your hands and your left foot by sliding your hands as far down the strap as you can.
- As you continue to elevate your torso, press your foot firmly against the strap.
2) Boat Pose
If you want to exercise your core but don't have the stability for a full Boat Pose, using a strap makes things much simpler. This assisted pose also significantly lessens the lower back strain that comes with attempting a full Boat Pose.
To perform the Boat Pose with a yoga strap, follow the steps below:
- With your legs bent, loop the strap flat over your feet while firmly grasping its ends with both hands.
- Lift your legs gradually and keep your spine extended.
- You can keep folding your legs or straightening them.
3) Cow Face Pose
The arm portion of the Cow Face Pose can be quite frightening for anyone with limited joint mobility or a history of shoulder issues. A yoga strap helps to relieve tension and keep the spine straight.
To perform the Cow Face Pose, follow the steps below:
- Place the strap so that it goes along the entire length of your back, crossing your shoulder.
- Hold the strap at the base of your neck with one hand, then hold a portion of the strap along your spine with the other.
4) Seated Forward Bend
The majority of seated yoga poses require the use of the hamstrings. One such pose that offers a tremendous hamstring stretch is the Seated Forward Fold. However, if you have tight hamstrings, performing this pose can be difficult. By using a yoga strap, you can easily perform this pose.
To perform the Seated Forward Fold with a yoga strap, follow the steps below:
- Place your feet close to you while seated on a yoga mat so that the loop of the strap is at the balls of your feet.
- With both hands, hold the ends of the strap.
- Pull yourself forward slowly until you feel a stretch on the backs of your legs while keeping your back straight.
5) Legs Up the Wall
The Leg Up the Wall pose is a soothing position, but it could be challenging if your legs tend to slip or if you have tight hips. Yoga straps provide your legs the support they need. This helps you to approach the posture completely at ease and reap its full benefits.
To perform the Legs Up the Wall pose with a yoga strap, follow the steps below:
- Carefully push your legs up onto the wall and lay down on your back, making sure your bottom rests as close to the wall as you can.
- Once your legs are up against the wall, use your yoga strap to support them by wrapping the strap loosely but securely around them.
6) Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
By using a strap in the Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose, you can increase your legs' stability, balance, and flexibility in the hips and inner thighs.
To perform the Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose, follow the steps below:
- Create a loop at the strap's end, then insert your right foot through the loop.
- With your right hand holding the strap, raise your right leg and extend your left hand.
7) Head-to-Knee Pose
The Head-to-Knee Pose can be difficult to perform no matter how flexible you are. This position can be done more easily with the help of a yoga strap.
To perform the Head-to-Knee Pose with a yoga strap, follow the steps below:
- Start by sitting down and extending your left leg while bending your right leg out to the side.
- Lightly bending your left knee, wrap the strap around your left foot.
- Gently pull the strap, then bring your upper body down over your left leg.
8) Bow Pose
Typical Bow Poses can compress your lumbar spine since it requires you to hold the ankles of your bent knees with your hands. To prevent this from happening, you can use a yoga strap.
To perform the Bow Pose with a yoga strap, follow the steps below:
- Lie on your stomach with your arms at your sides and your head on the mat.
- With your knees bent and almost touching your buttocks, place the yoga strap firmly against your shins.
- Raise your legs off the mat by pulling the strap.
- Lift your head and torso off the mat at the same time, then balance yourself on your lower abdomen.
- Allowing your feet to go as close to your head as possible by pulling the strap towards your head.
Which Yoga Strap Size Should You Purchase?
When it comes to yoga straps, there are 3 options: 6 feet, 8 feet, or 10 feet. If you're just starting, consider using the 6-feet yoga strap, which can be used for all asanas. However, if you are taller than average, you will require an 8- or 10-foot length.
You can perform several poses with a yoga strap. These straps help improve your flexibility and stability. If you're looking for a yoga strap that you can rely on, have a look at Acupoint.
The yoga straps from Acupoint are constructed of durable, tightly woven nylon. They have 12 separate loops that let you adjust the difficulty level of your stretch. Whether you're an expert yogi or a beginner, the Acupoint yoga strap is all you need.