Think you’re not flexible enough to try yoga? Getting discouraged because you’ve been doing it and can’t get into those crazy poses? You are missing out on one great tool to make your yoga foray a triumph – the yoga strap.
A yoga strap is just what it sounds like – a long strap, made of usually cotton or nylon, that just became your new best friend, cheerleader and confidante.
What does it do? A whole heck of a lot. It’s great for beginners to help you get comfortable in the poses. It’s great for folks like me who have tight muscles that just don’t want to give. It’s also great for those who are recovering from injuries.
A yoga strap basically acts like an extension of your arms to help gently with stretching. So you can’t reach your toes? You loop the strap around your feet, holding the other end with your hands, and you are able to deepen your stretch. Over time, it can increase your flexibility so you don’t need the strap at all.
Are you a long-time yogi that turns your nose up at the thought of using a strap? That’s just for beginners. I don’t need that. Think again. A strap can up your game, making yoga more challenging by providing tension. You will get even better, even stronger, even more flexible.
A word of caution – don’t use a yoga strap to force your body further than it’s ready to stretch. You will get hurt. Work within your range of motion, not to the point of pain.
Things to Consider
If you’re sold on the idea of giving a yoga strap a try, here are a few things to consider before you make a purchase.
Yoga straps typically come in three lengths – 6, 8 or 10 foot. Six foot is considered the average length and will pretty much work for anyone. If you are taller or have long legs, you may want to go with more length.
Unlike yoga mats, yoga straps typically only come in two materials – cotton or nylon. Both do the job well. It’s just a matter of personal preference.
Fasteners are made of metal or plastic. Metal buckles make it easier to adjust the strap because it glides better. This can also mean slippage when you don’t want it to happen. They are also noisy if you accidentally drop them in your very quiet, peaceful yoga class.
There are a couple different styles of fastener. The most common is a D ring. These are quick to fasten into a loop around the foot.
The cinch buckle is strong and feels more secure when using since the strap is fastened tightly into the buckle. Another type of fastener is the quick release. You see this type of buckle a lot on dog collars. The two ends of the strap snap into each other and can be quickly unfastened by pinching the two side releases together.
Some straps come without any fastener. These are great for quick maneuverability. If you’ve ever had physical therapy for an injury, you may have used something like this in your rehab.
Top Yoga Strap Suggestions
You trust your body to a yoga strap, so make sure what you purchase is sturdy and the buckle won’t give out. Imagine you are in Dancer’s Pose when your strap gives out. It’s not going to be pretty.
We’ve done the research for you, and here are some of our favorite yoga straps and yoga slings.
These straps are made of 100% cotton and come in 8 foot or 10 foot length. The straps are a pretty standard 1 ½ inches wide with a metal D ring fastener. The Clever Yoga Strap comes with a lifetime guarantee, so if you aren’t happy with your strap for any reason or they don’t hold up, Clever Yoga will replace free of charge. You have seven colors to choose from: red, black, green, dark gray, pink, purple and blue.
Another marvelous thing about these straps is they are sold by a small, family-owned business. Always love supporting that over mega corporations. If you buy this product on Amazon, they offer a 50% off deal on their Yoga Strap Strength & Flexibility Workout DVD.
Gaiam is a well-known brand in the yoga world. This strap is also made of 100% cotton and is 1 ½ inches wide. It’s available in all three lengths and comes with a metal D ring fastener. It comes in 9 fun colors – granite storm, purple, natural, black athletic, black premium, deep purple (three stripes of different shades of purple), fuchsia, green athletic and lush teal.
Fun side note about Gaiam’s name: it’s a combo of the word “Gaia” and “I am.” Gaia meant Mother Earth in ancient Greece. At Gaiam, they tout that everything on earth is interconnected and believe that nurturing, protecting and respecting the planet, natural resources and its inhabitants is of the utmost importance. I can definitely dig that.
This strap by YogaAccessories is pretty similar to the others on our list. It comes in the three lengths, is made of 100% cotton and is 1 ½ inches wide. It also has a metal D ring fastener and comes in fewer color options with black, blue, purple, green and tan.
What sets this strap apart from the other two is the lower price and that YogaAccessories also offers straps with cinch buckle or quick release fastener if you prefer those.
Now this is a totally different type of strap than the others on the list. It only comes in the 6 foot length and is made of heavy duty nylon. Instead of a fastener, it has ten fixed loops along its length to slip your foot in. It also comes with a stretching guide to help you increase your flexibility. There’s no color choice on this product. It’s a black and orange strap.
Something that sets the Product Stop Strap apart from competitors is its three tier guarantee. If it EVER breaks or is damaged, they will replace it. If you don’t like it, for whatever reason, you’ll get your money back. If you lose it, they’ll ship you a new one for free! You really have nothing to lose investing in this strap.
This is our most expensive yoga strap on the list and is similar in style to the Product Stop Strap. It’s also 100% nylon and has the ten fixed loops along its length.
Speaking of length, it comes in at an odd 6 foot, 4 inches. Maybe those extra 4 inches are to wrap around your hand better. It only has one color choice as well, but this one is green. You’ll get a free instructional booklet with more than 30 stretches to try.
Finally, the OPTP Strap is American made.
Best Yoga Straps Wrap Up
Before you call it quits on the amazing workout yoga can give you, try out a yoga strap. It will make it easier to do yoga correctly and help you gain flexibility, strength and confidence. Your body and spirit will thank you.
There are several straps out there on the market whether you buy online, at a sports store or your local yoga studio. As you can see, they are pretty similar in features. You won’t go wrong by trying out any of the ones on this list. Good luck on your yoga journey!