As a yoga enthusiast, it is common that you experience discomfort when carrying your yoga mat to your yoga classes.
In some cases, some people experience knee pain while other go through severe back issues because of their yoga mat.
Interestingly, you don't have to pass through these difficulties anymore because using a yoga mat strap will make it less stressful and a lot easier to carry your mat around.
In this article, we'll educate you on how to use your yoga mat strap to save you less trouble the next time you carry your mat to the yoga studio.
A Brief Overview of Yoga
Yoga is an ancient culture that originated in India and combines physical, spiritual, and mental elements.
It includes various philosophical beliefs, physical postures, breathing exercises, and meditations.
Over time, the western interpretation of yoga has shifted away from its spiritual roots and become more focused on fitness and physical health.
Studies have shown that yoga has numerous benefits, including reduced stress levels, improved flexibility, increased physical strength, and overall well-being.
Whether you prefer to practice in a class setting or at home, yoga is a holistic form of exercise that is suitable for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Yoga mat and yoga practice
A yoga mat is a soft piece of foam specially designed for yoga exercises. A Yoga mat is crucial for yoga sessions because it helps protect your knees, joints, and elbows from injury.
In addition, a yoga mat serves a dual purpose - not only does it protect individuals from falling during a new or difficult pose, but they also protect the floor from damage.
The common occurrence of falling in yoga classes is a testament to the importance of having a yoga mat to prevent injuries.
Therefore, for an effortless and comfortable yoga experience, you need a mat strap to easily carry your yoga mat to class.
How To Tie a Yoga Mat Strap
Mat straps are designed to make yoga mats easy to carry, portable, and secure. You can tie your yoga mat strap through eight simple steps:
1. You can start by holding the buckle or metal hoop with your left hand at one end and the fabric loop end with your right hand at the other end.
2. After that you can wrap the fabric loop end around the yoga mat, making sure the mat is centered on the strap.
3. Make sure you wrap the fabric loop end in your right hand over the buckle or metal hoop end and pull it together in a tight manner.
4. Immediately after crossing the fabric loop end back around the mat, you can pass the loop under the yoga mat and over the buckle or metal hoop end.
5. Next, pull the fixed fabric loop end in the right hand to secure the mat in place.
6. Adjust the strap as needed to ensure that your yoga mat is securely fastened and easy to carry.
7. Repeat the process for the other end of the mat to complete the wrap.
The yoga mat strap is an accessory wrapped around the mat for convenience. Carrying straps are designed to possess adjustable buckles or loops so that they can be placed over the shoulder and easily carried around everywhere.
Also, a yoga bag and a yoga sling are accessories albeit with similar functions as a yoga mat strap, as they are used to carry and transport yoga mats.
However, a yoga bag is a larger container that can also hold other yoga accessories like mat straps.
While a yoga sling is a simple strap with loops on either end used to create a shoulder-carrying strap for the mat.
Common Yoga Poses To Practice with a Yoga Strap
1. Standing Side Stretch
Side stretch also called half moon pose is a warm-up session performed to fully stretch your shoulders, arms, and all sides of the body.
This pose is usually done with a yoga strap and it involves holding the mat strap with both hands slightly wider than your shoulders and moving slowly from side to side.
Also, Remember to breathe slowly and deeply while performing this pose.
2. Reclining Leg Stretch
Another posture performed with a yoga strap is reclining leg stretch. Reclining Leg Stretch is a pre-workout session that helps to stretch the hamstrings and lower back.
To perform the pose, lie on your back and lift one leg towards the ceiling using a yoga strap around the arch of your foot.
Keep your foot flexed and hold the stretch for several breaths, then release and repeat on the other leg.
Remember to move slowly, breathe deeply, and modify the pose if needed to avoid discomfort or pain.
3. Extended Hand to Big Toe
Extended Hand to Big Toe is another practice performed with a yoga strap. Extended Hand to Big Toe is a yoga pose that helps to stretch your hamstrings. Also, it helps strengthen the legs, knees, and ankles, and improves balance.
To perform the pose, you start by shifting your weight to one side of your leg.
Next, bring the opposite knee to your chest, extend the leg forward while keeping the spine straight, and hold for 5-20 breaths. Repeat on the other side. It is important to practice with awareness and stop if any discomfort or pain occurs.
4. Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
The head-to-knee pose is a yoga pose that helps to relieve tight hamstrings and the muscles at the back of your thighs. It is usually performed with a yoga strap.
To perform Janu Asana, sit with your legs outstretched, bend your right knee, inhale and straighten your left leg, rotate your upper body, fold gently while exhaling, stretch your arms to hold your ankle or foot, hold for 25-30 seconds, and inhale.
Repeat on the other side and ensure that you stop if you experience any discomfort or pain.
5. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Bound Angle Pose is a popular yoga pose that helps to relieve stress in the inner thighs and hips.
To perform the posture, you need to create a loop from the strap, place it around your hips and under your feet, and tighten it to pull your legs towards your body.
This posture will allow you to open your hips for a good stretch that will destress you.
Natarajasana also called lord of the dance pose is a yoga pose that helps to improve flexibility, strengthen the spine, and aid quick digestion.
You can perform Natarajasana by creating a loop in the mat strap, putting a foot in it, raising your hands and holding the other end, pointing elbows to the ceiling, using a wall for support, pressing on the strap, and walking along it to make it shorter. You should avoid Natarajasana if you have back or knee injuries.
7. Opening your shoulders
Opening Your Shoulders is also another form of yoga pose that helps to strengthen your back, open up your shoulder, and relieve your shoulder. There are about seven to ten different yoga poses for your shoulders.
Similar to the standing side stretch, Opening Your Shoulders involves you holding your mat strap wider than your shoulder width.
Stretch your hands open to have a good grip on the mat strap, then move your arms back and forth slowly. Stop if you feel any pain or discomfort and consult a doctor if the pain persists.
8. Gomukhasana Arms (cow face pose)
Gomukhasana arms also called cow face pose, is a yoga strap pose performed to increase the flexibility of the body, and strengthen and relieve the arms.
It is a good pose for an office worker or individuals who spend most of their workweek seated in one spot.
While seated you can do this by placing your hands on your back between your shoulder blades, palm facing outwards, pointing your left hand towards the direction of the ceiling, with the palm of your hand still facing forward, bending to one side to stretch your shoulders.
Reach down for the right fingertips and hook the fingers together if possible.
Paschimottanasana also called Seated Forward Bend is a yoga style. First, this pose involves sitting with your legs straight and using a strap to help you fold forward and stretch your hamstrings.
It's important to keep your back straight and avoid rounding your spine to avoid injury. This pose can help improve flexibility in the hamstrings, lower back, and hips.
How To Use A Yoga Mat Strap
Yoga straps are built for dual purposes. You can use the strap for carrying a rolled mat from one place to another and you can use the straps for yoga poses.
1. Yoga straps for carrying a yoga mat
Yoga straps provide security and ease of comfort for yoga enthusiasts. Generally, yoga enthusiasts use these straps to convey their mats from one place to another by wrapping the strap around it and securing the mat in place with the buckle or loop.
Yoga mats strap are usually lightweight which makes it easy for yoga enthusiasts to simply roll up their yoga mat tightly and sling it over their shoulders for easy transportation.
Learn How To Carry Yoga Mat on Bike right here! Our guide will show you the best way to carry your yoga mat and tips to use it properly. Check it out!
2. Yoga straps for yoga poses
Yoga straps can also facilitate yoga poses. Straps can help with certain postures in yoga classes that require stretching and strengthening your arms, legs, thighs, ankles, spine, hamstrings, knees, and other parts of the body.
When talking about yoga straps for poses, there are three different ways of using yoga straps for poses. These includes:
Improvement of Alignment
Yoga mat straps can help to improve your alignment. With the help of a mat strap, certain yoga poses such as Navasana (boat pose), chaturanga, and Paschimottanasana can be improved upon.
Mat Straps help you to easily adjust your pose at your own pace without any risk of injury to the body.
In addition to their role in correcting poses, yoga mat straps serve the goal of deepening your stretches and poses in the right direction. Straps can help you get better in your asanas, which in turn, improves your well-being and state of mind.
Lastly, yoga mat straps play a critical role in improving your flexibility and lengthening your capability when practicing some difficult or potentially dangerous poses.
Therefore, yoga mat straps can help alleviate the pain and discomfort of certain yoga poses by providing support and allowing for deeper stretches or greater stability.
Final thoughts - How To Use Yoga Mat Strap
In conclusion, using a yoga mat strap can make carrying your mat to yoga class easier and less stressful.
Additionally, yoga bags and slings are accessories used to carry and transport yoga mats. Yoga straps can also be used to prepare for yoga exercises.
With a yoga mat strap, you can have a comfortable experience and focus on your practice without worrying about the hassle of carrying your mat around. Remember to move slowly, breathe deeply, and modify poses if needed to avoid discomfort or pain.