Just like learning how to use your yoga block, using your yoga strap can be as fresh or repetitive as you make it. It’s up to you to stretch your imagination. Pause for a moment to ask yourself, “How could this yoga pose feel better?” A yoga strap just might help.

Strap in and Relax

Some restorative yoga poses are tricky to completely relax in. A yoga strap is a simple yet effective way to add that final support so you can release all effort and sink deeply into your pose.

Legs up the wall is one such yoga pose. I often find myself, and many of my students, subtly struggling to keep our knees from buckling from the heavy weight of our relaxed legs. Once you are comfortably in this yoga pose, which is exactly as it is named (your legs lean against a wall with your tailbone a few inches from it), take your yoga strap and loop it around your ankles with the buckle facing you. Now adjust the tightness, and voila! Your legs are held together against the wall and you can now focus on breathing.

Binding your Time

Think of your yoga strap as an extension of your arms. Whenever you find yourself straining in a pose, like trying to reach your feet or ankles in an advanced pigeon variation, upward boat pose or a deep seated forward fold, grab your yoga strap and use it as a bridge between where your hands are, and where, eventually, they will go.

Using your yoga strap this way may just save you a strain injury from trying to reach too far. It may also help you reach your goal in the pose faster by helping you to relax and open, which will bring you farther into any yoga pose than straining and pushing.

Better Blindfolded

Finally, a little creative usage for your yoga strap for the final pose of every yoga practice: shivasana. Have your yoga strap close at hand and lay it across your eyes while you come into full relaxation or corpse pose.

Using an eye pillow, sweater sleeve, or yoga strap lets your eye and facial muscles soften. Blocking out light while in shivasana, much like sleeping, allows you to drop into a deeper state of surrender. It is crucial for brightly-lit yoga studios and daytime classes.

Like your yoga block, your yoga strap is your ally. It was made to help you, not intimidate you, and there is really no right or wrong way to use it. Experiment with your yoga props at home during your personal practice and above all else, have fun!

Mara Munro is a Toronto-based freelance writer and yoga teacher.