Using your yoga strap is a good way to get some self-help into your yoga practice. No matter what your level of experience is with yoga, a strap can provide useful help on support, alignment, and posture.
Remember not to get too excited and pull your way into postures with force! Always listen to your body, and let your body open up in its own time.
1. Using your yoga strap in seated poses
In seated postures like the hamstring stretch shown above, yoga straps can be used around the feet as shown. Arms should be straight, and grab hold wherever you can. The pelvis will naturally tilt forward, bringing the body into alignment and bringing length into the hamstrings. It isn’t often that we sit like this, so shoulders might creep up toward the ears with tension. Be mindful of that, and relax the shoulders away from the ears, keeping the spine long and the shoulder blades melting down the back. Sternum is lifted.
2. Using your yoga strap for shoulders
This is part of gomukasana (cow face pose), and is a pretty intense stretch for the shoulders and chest. The full expression is shown on the right, and if the hands don’t meet, use a strap as shown on the left. Try to keep the spine long, and the chest lifted.
3. Using your yoga strap in arm balances
Distance between the arms is super important in poses like downward dog, wheel and crow. If the elbows tend to go out toward the side, use a strap. Loop the strap through the buckle and tighten around the arms at shoulder width. Inhale and come into the posture – whether you’re trying this with downward dog, wheel or crow pose.
4. Using your yoga strap for binds
To go a little deeper in the practice, yoga straps can be used when coming into binds like the one shown above. If the hands don’t quite meet, use a strap to get the extra length. Use the strap every time you practice a bind and in time, the flexibility in the hip will come and the chest will open up, allowing the hands to clasp.
5. Using your yoga strap in balancing poses
extended hand to big toe, when the flexibility isn’t as developed. Loop the strap around the foot as shown, and grab hold as close to the foot as you can, keeping the body long and in alignment, and keeping the arm straight. Activate the entire leg and breathe.
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I’m an inclusive, not scary, totally normal yet heavily qualified yoga instructor and founder of YogaBellies® and the Birth ROCKS Method. I’m trained in self hypnosis and meditation and what I love is helping women (ALL women) enjoy yoga without having to whisper all the time and wear fancy activewear that cost a month’s rent.
I believe Yoga is for everyone.