A yoga strap or a yoga belt, is a useful prop and is widely available as a colored cotton band. They come in different widths and lengths. It can be used to open or buckle to form a small or large loop. It’s really important to learn how to buckle your belt properly, to prevent the buckle from shredding the belt, and to give a supportive grip.
The purpose of choosing a yoga belt is for 3 main reasons:
A yoga belt gives you feedback about where you are moving ‘from’ and ‘to’. For example, if you have difficulty in bending forward to touch your feet, using the belt around your feet helps to stabilize your legs and it liberates your spine, helping you draw your trunk closer to your legs. Thus, enabling a touch sensation to catch your feet.
2. Resistance to Help you Extend or Contract
If you need to improve your leg extensions, the yoga belt provides resistance against which you can learn to develop an even extension of the whole limb.
3. Support to Maintain a Steady Action
At times, we require support for the shoulders with the belt tied around the elbow. It helps them to stay fixed, so that they don’t splay out. When we need to learn how to grip our hips, a belt tied around the lowest part of the pelvis gives us the sensation of gripping and teaches us to mirror that action when we take the belt off. The longer belts can be very useful for stabilizing your feet in very wide leg poses – be sure to have the belt right over the back edge of your foot, underneath the outer ankle bone.
When choosing a yoga belt, narrower belts might be easier to use, especially for smaller people. Wider belts are useful if you have larger hands and longer arms. The standard-length belts are suitable for most people and most poses. However, for someone who is very tall, or requires extra support for your legs, an extra long belt can be extremely useful.