Amongst the countless blocks, mats and towels often touted as must-have accessories for a yogi, the humble strap often goes overlooked – but in fact, it's an incredibly useful tool for expanding your flexibility in stationary poses, beginner or advanced. So whether you're yet to get your hands to the floor in forward fold or are working towards dancer's pose, a strap can provide the space you need to ease into your next challenge – no injuries necessary.
Usually made from thick, woven cotton, most yoga straps are sturdy in structure, rather than stretchy like a resistance band. Some new variants feature loops at different lengths to enable you to deepen or ease off the stretch as you choose, while others have buckles that you can fasten to achieve different lengths. Generally, the sturdier options are preferred for their support, but you can also go for a flexible choice if you want a little more give.
There are other factors at play, such as size. Most straps now come in varying lengths of 6ft, 8ft and 10ft – consider your height when buying, as well as the level of your practice. The longer straps are generally the most versatile for overhead and advanced practices, though a standard 8ft option should cover most bases, while the 6ft may be better for those who are more petite.
As ever, aesthetics can be important, so there are a number of pretty designs and colours to choose from, too. Scroll down to see the ones we rate…
Gaiam is a popular brand within the yoga community, offering reliable products at reasonable prices – and this yoga strap is certainly an easy option to get started with. Made of sturdy cotton, it's strong and supportive, and there's a range of colours and sizes to choose from, too.
Some shoppers have noted that the metal buckle sometimes slips, so it may not be the best choice for looping and using strenuously – though for the price, we reckon this would be a trust-worthy option for most beginners. It's machine washable and will easily roll up to fit in your gym bag or suitcase.
Those looking for strap that's easier on the eye will love Yoga Design Lab's offering, with plenty of colourful designs to choose from. Each one is made with eco-friendly inks and a percentage of each sale goes to support youth yoga programs for those in need.
At 8ft, it's a decent average size but may not be long enough for some – there are no other lengths available. Many buyers love its sturdy but soft finish for comfort and stability, and there are no complaints about the adjustable buckle. You do pay a little more for the pretty patterns, however.
This one is a little different, though could be the ideal choice if you prefer to keep things simple with your stretching. The looped 'infinity' shape of this strap means you can simply hook it over your ankle, feet or wrists without having to bother adjusting it in any way. Meanwhile, the stretchy webbed fabric offers a little extra give in each pose. It is available in a sturdier cotton for those that prefer it, however.
The Infinity Strap is available in four sizes depending on your flexibility level and shoulder width – there's a useful chart to help customers decide which is best. It is a more expensive choice, though its many happy customers suggest it's worth the price tag.
If you're not keen on the idea of adjusting your strap with metal D-rings, consider the Hugger Mugger Cinch, which has a plastic fastening that many prefer. Most shoppers feel it causes less slip and is a more supportive option for strenuous stretches, though some do warn that it may take a little longer to adjust between poses.
That said, the quality and strength of Hugger Mugger's offering is often noted, and this is no exception – but again, the price reflects this.
This is another great option if you're a little unsure of how to use your strap, since the brand will provide an e-book alongside each purchase with plenty of suggestions. There are 12 loops woven into the strap, so you can easily adjust as you become more flexible or adjust your pose.
Again, there's no stretch to the material, though this time it's made from nylon – so if you prefer to steer clear of synthetic fibres, this won't be one for you. Most buyers love this one for its versatility, however, and though there's only one size available it should cater to most at 8 feet long. There are four primary colours to choose from, too.