If you delve into a yogi’s yoga mat bag, you will probably find one or two yoga straps. A yoga strap is another valuable yoga prop that comes in really handy for both newbies and those with more advanced yoga practice. Custom yoga straps can be printed with a studio logo or initials so that they fit your brand as a yoga teacher or simply your home yoga kit, so you can easily spot your own yoga props after class. But just what is a yoga strap for, and how do you use it? Hero five ideas for styling with custom yoga straps.
The Humble Yoga Strap
Yoga straps are useful in many different situations; for example, if you are trying to grasp your left hand with your right hand but can’t quite reach or need to push yourself a little harder to raise a leg. The strap can help close gaps and help the body achieve the perfect posture. Like most yoga props, they stem from Iyengar yoga, which is a discipline that uses lots of bolsters, bricks and straps to achieve proper alignment. A standard yoga strap is about 6 feet long, but if this does not serve its purpose, they are available in eight or 10 feet. Generally, they’re made of nylon or non-elastic cotton and come in a myriad of rainbow colours. At one end of the yoga strap, you will find buckles or D rings, and the other end is left exposed. This enables you to turn your yoga strap into a loop for binding
and supporting the body in various poses.
- Style Seated Poses with Your Custom Yoga Strap
Whether you are just starting your yoga journey and have not yet achieved a good level of flexibility or you are a more experienced yoga practitioner looking to deepen a stretch, yoga straps are perfect for seated poses. If you are struggling to sit cross-legged or even to sit with the soles of your feet together, a yoga strap can help align the body. You can wrap the yoga strap around your lower back and patch hold of both ankles with the loop, so it is gently pulling you into alignment, which aids the flexibility of the hamstrings. It is important that you are mindful of your upper back and spine when using the strap in this way. You need to guard against your shoulders becoming tense and heading towards your shoulders. You need to elongate the spine. Relax the shoulder blades and lift your sternum.
- Style Stretching with Your Custom Yoga Strap
Custom yoga straps are also useful when it comes to stretching poses. There are several poses that require you to link your hands while stretching away your body may not be used to. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana) requires you to place one hand over the top of your shoulder towards the middle of your back while the other hand reaches from below under the shoulder blade towards the middle of your back. The aim is to cross your fingers, and this is a particularly good exercise to release tight shoulder muscles. However, it’s very common for your hands not to be able to meet when you first start practising. A yoga strap can be used dangled from your top hand so that when you reach back with your bottom hand, you can grab hold. You then have the ability to walk your hands towards each other,
keeping hold of the strap over time as your flexibility increases.
- Style Standing Balancing Poses with Your Custom Yoga Strap
Your custom yoga strap is also an excellent tool for balancing poses in yoga. For example, when standing on one leg and extending the other, the pose requires you to grasp your big toe. However, if your flexibility hasn’t quite got there yet, this can be difficult, resulting in an awkward half balance with a very bent leg. In order to obtain the correct posture and ensure that you are not hurting yourself, a yoga strap is a great addition. All you need to do is loop your yoga strap around the sole of the foot you are lifting off the ground and grasp it with your hand as close to the foot as you can reach. This will enable you to perform the pose correctly with a straight leg.
- Style Arm Balancing Poses with Your Custom Yoga Strap
Keeping your arms in correct alignment is really important in a number of poses but especially if you are balancing and using all of the weight of your body on your arms. They need to be strong and stay the correct distance apart without bowing at the elbows, which could lead to damage to the joint. In the crow pose, for example, you transfer all your weight forwards onto your hands, lifting your backend and feet off the floor. Before beginning a pose, you simply need to loop your yoga strap around the arms, just below the elbows, shoulder-width apart. Tighten the straps, so it is the correct width, and then as you raise into the pose, your arms will be supported and unable to sag or collapse from under you.
- Style Binding Poses with Your Custom Yoga Strap
Restorative poses can be really beneficial, but if you can’t quite achieve them, it could also potentially damage your body. Legs up the wall is a very popular restorative pose, but for some people, when they initially start a yoga practice, they find their legs constantly slipped to the sides. Binding your legs together with your yoga strap allows good alignment and prevents them from slipping. It can be very uncomfortable when your legs slip to the sides, especially if your hips are still very tight, so the strap will help ensure you are correctly aligned. Simply loop the strap around both legs above the knees to keep your thighs together, and you will be able to fully relax into the pose and access all of the restorative benefits it has to offer.