A strap gives you extra expansion and length in your arms and your legs! What's not to love? Here are a few great ways to use it:
- Use it in lying down hamstring stretch (my favorite) by placing it around the ball of the left foot and grabbing both ends of the strap in each hand. Inhale flex the foot, exhale reach through the heel and straighten the leg, feeling the hamstring lengthen. For an inner leg stretch, grab both straps in the left hand and let the left leg fall open. Keep flexing the foot and breathing. For a stretch along the entire left side of the body, use the abdominals to bring the foot back to center, take both straps in the right hand, and let the left leg fall over to the right until you feel sensation from the left hip all the way down to your foot. It’s like a super intense twist with extra love on your IT band. When you’ve finished taking 5-10 breaths during each part of this three-part pose, bring the leg back to center and switch.
- Archer arms have always been difficult to do in my experience without a strap. When you reach the left arm up and bend the elbow, grab a strap and let it hang down your back. Reach the right arm down, bend the elbow, and place the right hand as high up the back towards the shoulder blades as you can and then grab the hanging strap! Now inhale into the left shoulder then exhale and pull the strap in each hand (like you are pulling it apart). This is a wonderful, safe way to stretch your shoulders.
- Loop it around both feet in forward bend to create length in the spine and the hamstrings.
- Hammock! Make a big loop with the strap (maybe three times the size of your waist), come into happy baby, and put one end of the loop against your occipital ridge (the back of your skull, close to the neck) and the other side of the enclosed loop around the bottom of your feet. Then, relax and breathe. If it hurts the neck, move it up the head a little bit and see if that helps. If it still hurts, come out and use the strap in happy baby to pull the feet down to the ground. Same yoga, different stretch!
By Fae Leslie Hoffman; All Rights Reserved @2019