Even though they may look a little complex, a yoga belt or yoga strap
has benefits for everyone from beginners to experts - and they're actually very easy to use! A belt can help you achieve a pose you wouldn't be able to otherwise, or can deepen a pose to increase your flexibility.
Being flexible is a huge part of yoga, and it can be frustrating for a beginner if they can't achieve a certain pose because of physical limitations. But simply doing poses isn't what yoga is about. It's about strengthening your body to join with your mind and spirit. If a band is used and those poses are possible from the onset, it can make a world of difference! Here's a look at the many different ways you can benefit from the use of a yoga band, strap or belt.
For seated poses
Many seated positions aren't too "difficult," so yoga belts are used to increase strength. By placing the belt around your lower back with the other end around your feel or ankles, you're creating much more resistane than you would naturally have.
Many yoga poses utilize binds where one hand needs to grasp the other, either above, below, or behind the body. These poses can be tough for anyone, but even more so for beginners. If you have a bind where your hands don't quite close the gap, a belt can help mimic that action.
For balancing poses
In poses like extended hand to big toe, a belt can be very useful if you don't quite have the flexibility you need yet. Simply loop the strap around your foot, and grab the strap as close to your foot as you can. As long as you keep your body in the right alignment and breath properly, you'll get the same benefits from this pose as you would if you were really doing it.
For shoulders and arm balances
A belt can dramatically increase your shoulder strength over time by making it harder to force your arms apart in poses like downward dog and crow. Just place the strap around both arms right at the elbow and stretch as usual. In addition, a strap can help keep your arms tucked tightly in if you have a tendency to turn them outwards.
Belts are available in a number of different materials, widths, and buckle styles, but they all function basically the same. If you're a first timer, don't be intimidated! Grab your band and start posing like a pro. If you're a veteran, use that band to create definition like you've never had before.