As the year comes to an end, we have rounded up five of our favorite yoga poses. The best thing is that all of these poses can be enhanced with the Zen Yoga Strap!
1. Happy Baby (Ananda Balasana)
The Zen Yoga Strap is very helpful for those who practice this pose, but who might not be flexible enough. You will need 2 yoga straps, one for each foot. Simply lie on your back and bring your knees towards your chest. Make sure your sacrum is flat on the floor. Place the ball of your foot into the far end of the yoga strap, and hold the other end with your hands. Open your knees towards your armpits so they go beyond your torso.
Why we love it: In addition to being the inspiration behind the Zen Yoga Strap, the Happy Baby pose is one of our favorites because it stretches multiple parts of the body, including the hips, inner thighs, groin, hamstrings, and the spine. Through releasing the lower back and sacrum, this pose significantly relieves lower back pain and fatigue.
2. Plow Pose (Halasana)
Lie flat on your back with legs extended and arms at your side, palms down. Lift your legs and hips up toward the ceiling, at the same time making sure that your torso is perpendicular to the floor. Slowly, lower your legs until your toes touch the floor.
Why we love it: By opening the neck, shoulders, and back, as well as compressing the abdomen, the Plow Pose tones the digestive organs, which stimulate the detoxification process. According to Yoga Outlet, it also regulates the thyroid gland, relieves excess phlegm and mucus, and regulates the breath.
3. Reclining Leg Stretch (Supta Padangustasana)
For this pose, start by lying flat on the floor. Grab onto the yoga strap with both hands and place your right foot into the bottom loop. Bend your right knee and slowly lift your leg toward the ceiling until it is straight. Make sure your shoulder blades and elbows are resting lightly on the ground, to allow your chest to open up.
4. One-Legged King Pigeon (Raja Kapotasana)
This is one of the more difficult yoga poses, but with the Zen Yoga Strap, you can do it too! Sit on the floor with your left leg forward, and bend your knee so that your left foot is facing your body. Place your right leg flat behind you, then bend your right knee so that your right foot is facing the ceiling. Place your right foot into the bottom loop of your yoga strap, and with your arms stretched out behind you, grab the top loop with both your hands.
Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a challenge? This pose requires much flexibility and practice - many students have difficulty reaching the back of the foot with their hands when they first learn the One-Legged Pigeon Pose, but it can be made easier with the help of a yoga strap. This difficult pose stretches the entire lower part of the body, stimulates the abdominal organs, as well as improves the flexibility of the hip region.
5. Lord of the Dance (Natarajasana)
For those of you who really want to challenge yourselves, this would be a great pose. It is a variation of the One-Legged King Pigeon pose, but is even more difficult as you will be standing up. Place your foot into the bottom loop, bend your knee and lift your heel towards your buttocks. Slowly lift your leg up behind you as you extend your arms to grab onto the top loop of the yoga strap. Your elbows should be pointing up toward the ceiling.
Why we love it: In addition to stretching the shoulders, chest, thighs, and abdomen, this pose strengthens the legs and ankles, which is great if you want to improve your balance. Besides its majestic name, we love this pose because of its elegance and photo-worthiness.
For more poses you can achieve with a yoga strap, check out our Poses page!