Practicing yoga as a beginner can be demanding as you are not as flexible as the advanced practitioners. This is why it is essential to use a yoga prop that can help you reach your full potential in a pose, such as a yoga strap. A yoga strap can be beneficial in several ways and can help you improve your practice. These are some of the most helpful tools for beginners and intermediate practitioners trying out advanced asanas for the first time. So, if you are looking for the benefits of using a yoga strap along with some examples before making the purchase, then read on!
Benefits of Using Yoga Straps
One of the biggest reasons people use yoga straps is that it helps them hold their poses longer. Here are the reasons why practicing yoga with the straps can help your poses:
It Corrects Your Alignment
If you are having trouble aligning your hands in the proper position, then using a strap can help by holding your wrists in place until you get the hang of the position. You can also pull the strap tight to ensure that your elbows are in the correct position.
Also, when you use yoga straps, your body doesn’t need to contort itself in uncomfortable positions to help you reach the final pose. Instead, you can take it slow and ensure your spine and head are in the correct position before progressing to the next step.
It Helps With Your Balance
Often, one may find it challenging to maintain their balance in a particular yoga pose. Using a strap in such cases can help you by providing support and stability. For example, consider trying the bow pose for the first time. You can wrap the straps around your ankle and hold the other end in your hands. Instead of failing to maintain your balance and falling over, the strap will help you stay in position.
Builds Your Strength
If you want to increase the difficulty of a pose to challenge your strength, then using a yoga strap can help. An example is when you try to bend down and touch your toes with your fingers. Initially, you can wrap the yoga strap twice around your feet as you cannot bend down too low.
But, as you get comfortable in this position, you can adjust the strap by shortening its length and making it more challenging for yourself. This way, the strap acts as a yoga resistance band and helps you build strength.
It Improves Our Flexibility
Flexibility and freedom in the movement are two of the main reasons why people do yoga in the first place. If you struggle with your flexibility, using a strap can help as it gives you something to hold onto while trying to accomplish a particular position. For example, if you are trying to do a backbend and can’t quite reach the floor, you can use a strap to pull yourself down and help your body go deeper into the pose. Over time, you can challenge your flexibility using a shorter strap or even going without the strap altogether.
How To Use Yoga Straps
The previous section explains some of the benefits you can experience using a yoga strap. Now, let’s look at several poses that you can do with the help of a strap.
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
This is a great pose if you are new to using straps in your practice. Sit on the floor and lengthen your legs in front of you. Wrap the yoga strap around the soles of your feet. Hold the strap with your hands and lean forward, keeping your spine straight. You can use the strap to pull yourself closer to your feet and go as deep into the pose as you are comfortable with.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)
This is a great pose to improve your balance. Stand up tall and wrap the strap around your right ankle. Hold the strap with your right hand and raise your leg, keeping your back straight. You can utilize the strap to pull your leg closer to your body if you struggle to balance. If you wish to make the pose more difficult, you can try doing it with your eyes closed.
Naukasana (Boat Pose)
Practice this pose to build strength in your core. Sit on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you and your arms by your sides. Lean back and raise your legs, keeping them together. You can wrap the strap around your thighs if you struggle to keep your legs up. Or you tie the ends of yoga straps into a loop.
Now, put this loop around your feet and your back. Slowly raise your leg to achieve the boat position. This placement of yoga straps allows you to hold your leg up high for a long time and supports your back muscles. Keep the yoga strap taut to maintain your pose for a longer time.
Eka Pada Rajakopotsana (King Pigeon Pose)
This is an excellent pose for stretching out your hips. Start in a region pose with your right leg folded in front of you and your left leg extended out behind you. Wrap the strap around your left ankle and hold onto the strap with both of your hands. Slowly raise your leg and use the strap to pull your leg closer to your body if you struggle to maintain the stretch. You can also try this pose with your left leg in front and your right leg behind you.
Yoga straps are a great way to improve your yoga practice. They can help with flexibility, balance, and strength. And they are also a great way to modify poses so that they are more accessible for beginners. So, don’t be afraid to give yoga straps a try. You might find that they help you in ways you never thought possible.