3 Stretches To Try With Your Yoga Strap
When you see advanced yoga practitioners performing seemingly impossible poses, it can make the exercise seem intimidating. In fact, yoga is a very accessible form of working out that has benefits for people of all ages, sizes, and skill levels. Props help to make poses more accessible to beginners, and a yoga strap is one of the most popular. Many of the advanced practitioners who you see probably started out using yoga straps and other props when they were beginners.
What Is a Yoga Strap?
A yoga strap is a fairly simple piece of equipment, a length of woven cotton with a buckle of metal or plastic on one end. It has several different applications, but most often it is looped around a part of the body, such as the foot, and grasped by one or both hands. This allows you to achieve a modification of a pose that you do not have the flexibility to achieve otherwise, where trying to force your body into the full pose could put you at risk for injury.
You could also be risking injury if you try to use a substitute for a yoga strap. For example, the cotton fabric helps prevent you from cutting your skin, which may be an issue if you use other materials.
What Are Its Benefits?
Exercising with a strap helps you to achieve poses that you wouldn't be able to otherwise. The stability it provides allows you to get a deeper, more beneficial stretch.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of using a strap is that it helps you to keep your body in proper alignment, which is crucial for performing the poses correctly and achieving the expected gains. Many beginners try to push their bodies too hard into poorly formed positions that create harmful tension that reduces blood flow. Using a strap relieves the strain, allowing you to concentrate on the correct technique.
Which Poses Should You Try Using Your Yoga Strap?
There are many poses you can try with a strap, but here are three for which you may find it particularly beneficial.
1. Boat Pose
Boat pose involves balancing on your hips while stretching your legs up and out at a 45-degree angle and extending your arms parallel to the floor. Wrapping a strap around your feet and holding onto it with your hands helps to increase your stability while you learn the necessary balance and increase your core strength.
2. Seated Forward Bend
The unmodified pose requires you to sit with your legs straight out in front of you along the floor while you bend down to grab your feet with your hands. Using a strap the same way you do with boat pose, you maintain the pull on the back of your legs while extending your upper body down as far as is comfortable.
3. Cow Face Arms
This pose requires you to reach your hands along your back with elbows bent and clasp your hands behind your back at the level of your shoulder blades. It is very difficult for most beginners to achieve, but if you hold the strap in your hands, you can achieve the pose while getting them as close together as is comfortable.You can purchase a quality yoga strap and similar workout props online from Shop-Om.