Ahh, the ole yoga strap. It’s time to shake the dust off that thing and start using it. There are a few different lengths you’ll want to consider when choosing a yoga strap. Try to choose one that is at least 8 feet in length. One with d-rings on it as well. Yoga blocks and straps and other props can offer some amazing benefits to your regular yoga practice. You’ll discover that a yoga strap is going to help loosen up some of those hard to reach areas; and even muscles that are easy to work. You will be using your yoga strap so often it’ll become a regular piece in your yoga bag.
Let’s jump into some benefits of using your yoga strap.
1. Extra Arm Length
A yoga strap that’s at least 8 feet in length can help make your arms longer. For example, if you are stretching your quadricep by pulling your leg back behind you with the belt over your shoulder, your foot can be hard to reach normally but if you have a yoga strap you can make it into a little loop and wrap it around your foot. This is pose is called the Dancer’s Pose or Natarajasana.
2. Better Posture
You can use a yoga strap and make it into a contraption to help hold your shoulders back. They do make harnesses for this but hey, if you’ve got a yoga strap you don’t need to buy one of those. This is just one great way to improve your posture with a yoga strap.
All you have to do is:
Find the center of the belt
Place the center of the yoga belt across the middle of your shoulder blades
Draw the ends of the straps under your armpits and back over your shoulders
Slip the ends under the strap behind your back
Give them a good tug to make them taunt.
3. Tailor Your Practice to You
Since our yoga strap doubles as a yoga mat sling, you can take it with you where ever you bring your yoga mat. It’s so small you can fit it into your yoga bag or gym bag. Props like yoga blocks and straps allow you to tailor your yoga practice to what your body needs and wants. Not everyone is the same and you shouldn’t practice getting into poses you aren’t ready for. But the strap can help get you into a more advanced yoga practice.
4. Feedback through Feeling
In our blog post about movement principles, we talk about feeling. The feeling is one of the greatest sensory’s you have. Much like a blind person using a stick to feel their way around, or a snake slithering its way through a forest. What do you feel when you pull the yoga belt one way or the other? The foot is a great example of feeling. There are so many different muscles, pores, bones, etc. in your foot. Let’s put the yoga strap on your foot, but not just on your foot the ball of your foot. It’s going to feel different when you put it on your heel or the arch of your foot. All the feedback you get from these feelings is going to allow you to address any issues such as imbalances or compensations.
5. Greater Opening
A yoga strap can help you get into some poses a little deeper than what you could do by yourself. One of our favorites is a shoulder opener. Grab the yoga strap with both arms straight in front of you, a little wider than shoulder-width. Slowly rotate your arms in a circle forwards and backward for a nice shoulder opener. Make sure you don’t force your arms around. Adjust your arm width to whatever is comfortable.
6. Room for Growth
If you think you’ve reached the maximum of your yoga practice, guess again. The yoga belt will help you experiment a little bit, get deeper into your stretches, and allow you to have a little more fun; keeping your practice fresh and enjoyable.