A yoga belt or yoga strap is an ideal yoga prop for the beginner or anyone with flexibility or mobility issues. A yoga belt is a cotton, hemp or nylon-webbing strap, typically 6 to 9 feet long, used to extend the body and allow you increased flexibility. A simple buckle on one end allows you to shorten and secure the yoga belt as needed. While you may need a yoga belt less and less as time goes on, even advanced practitioners may still find a yoga strap helpful.
How to Use a Yoga Belt
Try out your yoga belt in a seated forward bend or Paschimottanasana position. This position involves sitting with the legs outstretched and firmly planted on the ground, heels together. Bend forward at the waist, lengthening the body. Use your yoga strap around your feet to allow you to extend the stretch in this pose and increase your flexibility.
Hold your leg with a yoga belt in a Trikosana or Triangle pose. In the Triangle pose, use the strap to allow you to stretch fully in the pose and maintain balance. You may initially only be able to grasp your knee or ankle, but with a yoga strap you can extend the stretch easily and hold the pose more comfortably.
Use a long yoga strap for an effective shoulder stretch. This exercise is ideal for relieving tension at any time. Sit up straight, holding the strap in both hands, shoulder-width apart. Outstretch your arms and raise them up and over your head, then down and behind your back. The strap should be long enough to allow you to keep your arms straight through this exercise.
Work arthritic or damaged joints by using a belt to gently assist flexibility. A yoga strap can also help you align your joints properly during yoga to avoid injury. Older individuals, pregnant women and people recovering from injury may also find a yoga belt especially helpful.
Manage new and more challenging yoga poses by using a belt to assist you as you advance in yoga. You may also want to use your yoga straps to bind your limbs to allow you to hold a pose longer with less stress on your body.