Straps are a great way to go a bit deeper into your yoga practice, and can help you access new elements of certain postures without having to strain and sacrifice your breath. As well as that, a yoga strap can help you refine your alignment and provide extra support.
And pssst – you don’t have to buy a fancy yoga strap for a lot of these suggestions. A belt or a scarf can often work just as well! Check out our DIY yoga props blog post here.
1. Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
Ahh, my old nemesis. For the tight-hamstringed amongst us, Paschimottanasana can feel really frustrating. To encourage hamstrings to open up, place your strap around the balls of your feet. Hold on to the end of the strap and allow your legs to straighten. Start to fold forward but keep your spine long. Think heart towards legs instead of head towards legs. Don’t pull or force, simply use the strap as extra support. And breathe. 😉
2. Extended Hand to Big Toe (Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana)
Make a loop on the end of the strap and place it around the ball of your right foot. Lift your right knee, holding on to the strap with your right hand. Slowly straighten and extend that right leg out in front of you. Release left hand to waist. Repeat on the other side.
3. Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana)
Gomukhasana arms can be REALLY tough if your shoulders are tight or even just if your arms are on the shorter side. But never fear – a yoga strap can easily come to your rescue. Instead of grasping your hands together and sacrificing comfort, ease and breath, hold on to a strap in both hands instead. This allows you to feel all the benefits of the pose, without straining. No pain no gain isn’t super yogic, after all.
4. Chaturanga Dandasana