Yoga Belt: How to Use Without Getting Tied Up In Knots
Yoga Belt – A Versatile Yoga Prop
I have noticed when it comes to using a yoga belt in class that many students get flustered. I have even encountered students who are so confused that they actually tie a knot in their strap, which is a pet peeve of mine. Here’s why: in the first instance, this is not as secure, in the second, it doesn’t allow for any movement, so if it is either too tight or too loose, you can then not improve that situation, and third, come on! just plain lazy!
The yoga belt itself comes in different lengths. This one is my favorite D-ring. I prefer the long 10 feet ones because I am tall and they also adapt to different uses. I prefer the D-ring because it locks well so I do not worry it will slip open.
A yoga belt can be used to stabilize your joints, and they can either encourage flexibility or help to create both traction and ‘space’ if you are inflexible (which is not a bad thing, it just is what it is). I find I use a strap both to warm up and prepare for postures, as well as for any number of postures – both active and restorative. They really do help de-compress and give a pretty immediate sense of length and relief. Check through some of my other yogatherapy blogs for other insight
I was fortunate enough to speak with this male student after my restorative class this Saturday. (For details on the time please check the Calendar..) This is a new student, who actually just dropped in on a whim, wearing jeans. He came in late, and I found out after that he has had back pain which was alleviated by the class.
Actually, pretty much all 12 students reported some kind of lower back and neck stiffness and discomfort to me when I greeted them. Now, NOT ALL back pain is created equal. However, “Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under forty-five years old” (Dr. Loren Fishman) who also says “Back pain is a symptom, not a diagnosis…Yoga poses that cure one type of back pain might almost worsen an almost identical backache with a different cause”. This is why it is safest to have a private yoga lesson.
This being said, the restorative yoga class this particular evening focused on undoing some of the tension that we get from sitting at a computer, working out, carrying and nursing babies, and the emotional tensions that get lodged as pain in the neck.. Breathing exercises, relaxation, and postures that can help encourage flexibility, and eliminate some of the compression and tight, tenseness led to a positive experience for this student
Yogatherapy – shoulder pain relief: – the shoulder jacket for yoga shoulder pain relief. If you have a desk job, drive a lot, walk a lot or just plain shlump-a-lot, your shoulders may round forward and your head may drop. That is a lot of strain for the shoulders and neck, don’t you think? Headaches anyone? Probably that and other issues. Basically if you take that posture with you into everything else you do, it will not improve unless you teach yourself new muscular movement tricks. Here is a simple but highly beneficial way to use a yoga strap to keep the shoulders seated on the back and open the front chest. You can even use it while you sit at your desk. It is a great yoga therapy tip for anyone who suffers from the shoulder shlumps ! I like 8ft or 10ft straps; you can get one here.
If you look like or are worried about looking like the kyphosis in this photo, yoga as therapy works wonders, I see it and work with it in private yoga classes all the time.
The steps for following along side this use of the yoga strap for a yogatherapy shoulder jacket are:
A ~ take belt buckle over left shoulder, leave tail down
B ~ take the tail cross the back under right armpit
C ~ loop the belt over the right armpit, take it with left hand
D ~ buckle up!
You can use this when you are sitting at your desk, or try a brief meditation with it.
This infographic reminds us that – since we spend most of our day off the yoga mat, the movements we make repetitively, like typing on the computer can build up their own tension. “Working for long hours at the computer with improper wrist/hand posture can develop ache/pain/tingling or swelling of the wrist. If ignored, this can become a serious condition…”
If you then bring that tension and the posture it has created in fingers, wrists, hands, to your downward facing dog, plank, chatturanga, handstand etc, it can build up into some serious issues.Some of the tips given in this infograph are to keep your wrists straight while typing and using the mouse. As well, it is important to take min-breaks in your day. If you check out my video clip, you will find a few suggestions for this break. Finally, remember that your wrists are part of the entire arm and shoulder chain, so the posture you have in the upper trunk will indirectly and/or directly be affecting your hands.
I think it is important to know who you are in asana, as well as how you are in asana. For example, if your goal is to remedy wrist discomfort, then you may either need props or modifications. Going into a group class when you have carpal tunnel and just banging out 100 down dogs is neither safe nor mindful. As always, any remedy depends on the status of the practitioner. Unsure? I give private yoga lessons
Daily maintenance is good to keep neutralizing the little stresses before they become major issues (like carpal tunnel syndrome) ~ and I like a mindful minute here and there so that when I do get over to my mat, I know who I am, how to modify, what poses and warmups will help/heal rather than strain/compress…to watch a yogatherapy tip from my computer to yours click the link: Yoga Therapy for Computer Hands
Yoga Therapy Tip:
Here is a short video just so you consider stretching the fingers away from the center of the hand while maintaining a sense of hugging the bones in…we use our hands non-stop and they do hold tension ~ a nice hand massage, wrist circles, shaking hands vigorously… especially in colder weather can keep your hands strong and tension free..for more mindful movement, please consider co-ordinating with simple breathing
It literally just takes a minute to refresh oneself! Check out a fun way to include half downward facing dog into a walk outdoors or try it against the wall after you have been sitting at your computer… minutes add up to magic, even if you only have a few..and my 5 minute mindfulness retreat will set your focus on “calm” …
Holiday time can be a wonderful break from everyday routines. For some though, they involve travel and the distance from practice makes the heart grow fonder!! How to take your yoga practice on the road? Check out my top 5 tips.
helps teach external rotation of shoulders, expands chest, improves breathing, releases tension in shoulders
Inquiry: How are you presently feeling in your shoulders? Take a moment before you begin to check in with how you feel in the upper back, and discover how your breath is moving. What is your overall comfort level?
Once you have practiced this sequence, come into tadasana with hands in prayer pose and tune into any new sensations in the body, breath and mind.