Yoga Strap 101: Why You Need One & the Best Strap for You
Whether you're strapping yourself in to Goddess Pose or achieving new stretches you never thought possible, you'll forever be happy you invested in a yoga strap.
The benefits to owning a yoga strap:
Improve Alignment & Form
A strap helps you stop “reaching” in poses and inadvertently tensing your shoulders.
Are you guilty of grabbing your toes in seated forward fold, even though your back is rounded?
By placing a strap around your feet, you can traction your upper body forward, while also maintaining a long spine and relaxed shoulders.
With a strap, you get the juicy stretch without compromising your form.
You can also break out a strap as you learn to bind your arms in various poses. Straps are lifesavers for people with tight hamstrings and shoulders. If you're stiff or new to yoga, a strap can help you safely achieve poses that were previously inaccessible.
A strap can even help you achieve proper alignment in that elusive pose Chaturanga.
Learn to Balance & Invert
A pose like Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (balancing on one foot while holding your outstretched leg) can feel amazing, but is difficult for those of us who aren't Gumby.
Add a strap around the extended foot, and suddenly most everyone can balance in this fun variation.
You can also create a loop in the strap the width of your shoulders and wrap it around your upper arms. This configuration of the “looped strap” is immensely helpful in learning inversions like Handstand and Forearm Stand.
Deeply Let Go
A strap isn't only beneficial in an active, Yang practice. It's your best friend in Yin Yoga too.
Strap yourself in to various restorative poses like Goddess and Legs Up the Wall, and feel your low back release in a new way.
Which Strap is Best for You?
Straps come in three lengths: 6', 8' and 10'. They're typically made from hemp or cotton with a variety of colors to choose from.
A 6' strap will cover all your yoga needs, but if you're very tall or want to get creative with how you use your strap, 10' will give you more room to play with. We love the 8' strap since it's right in the middle.
The main thing to consider when purchasing a strap is the cinch. Do you prefer plastic, metal or quick release?
[please note links on all product pictures]
The Hugger Mugger Quick Release Yoga Strap may look like the easiest to use, but its snap-shut clasp also means the strap isn't as easy to adjust with one hand when you are in restorative poses.
We prefer a traditional, metal, D-ring cinch (like the Gaiam 6' Strap) instead of a plastic cinch because the strap glides better and is easier to untangle if it gets twisted.
Metal cinches also have more give, making the strap easier to fine tune and adjust when you're in those Yin poses like Goddess or Legs Up the Wall.
However, if your priority is security and keeping the strap in a strong loop, plastic may be a better choice. Most plastic cinches are narrower and tighter, meaning the strap's loop is extra secure (but more difficult to quickly adjust).
About the Author
Brett Larkin teaches yoga and meditation on her YouTube channel, where thousands of students have studied with her for more than 10 million minutes. Find her "yoga hacks," yoga teacher training tips, and free yoga/meditation classes at BrettLarkin.com.