Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Yoga Sequences

12 Restorative Poses That Feel Even Better With a Strap

In need of some rest and recovery? This sequence can help you release tension and find space in your body (and mind).

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with everything in the Print + Digital Plan plus 25+ benefits including:
  • Member-only content on all publications in the Outside network like Vegetarian Times, Clean Eating, Yoga Journal, Outside and more
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons
  • Exclusive yoga sequences from top teachers
  • More than 100 diet-specific meal plans
  • Outside Watch Shows, Films, and documentaries
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+
Yoga Journal

Digital + Print
Intro Offer
$2.99 / month*

  • Annual subscription to Yoga Journal magazine
  • Access to all member-exclusive content on YogaJournal.com
  • Ad-free access to YogaJournal.com
Join Yoga Journal

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

When we think of restorative yoga, we often think of blankets, blocks, and bolsters. While those props can be useful to support your body, you can also practice a restorative sequence with just a strap. The goal of restorative yoga is to give your nervous system a chance to be less busy by giving your body less activity. Using a strap can offer strong support and hold your body securely while you can settle into the positions.

This is a great go-to sequence on recovery days where you wish to release residual tension from your hips. It enables you to settle into greater spaciousness, especially in and around your hip joints.

More from Rocky Heron: Use Your Tools! How Yoga Props Can Deepen Your Practice

Somatic Breathing 1

Rocky Heron, wearing a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background. Somatic breathing 1
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Take a comfortable seat. Place the strap along your back ribs and hold with both hands. Take 5 slow deep breaths, focusing on the expansion of your ribs against the strap as your breathe in, and the pressing of the strap against your back ribs as you exhale.

Somatic Breathing 2

Rocky Heron, wearing a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background. Seated in easy pose.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Place the strap around your left ribs and hold both ends in your right hand. Take 5 slow breaths as you did in the previous posture, this time focusing your breath into your left side ribs and against the strap on that side.  Switch the position of the strap and repeat on the right side.

Somatic Breathing 3 

Rocky Heron uses a strap to practice somatic breathing. He is wearing a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Wrap the strap around your back ribs, loop the ends around and hold in opposite hands. Take 5 deep, slow breaths, this time focusing on the three-dimensional expansion of your ribs against the strap.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle) 

Rocky Heron, practices Supta Baddha Konasana with strap. He is wearing a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

From a seated position, bend your knees and open them out so that you can join the soles of your feet together. Create a large loop in the strap, and place it around your torso. Secure the back of the strap across the top of your sacrum and loop the front of the strap around your ankles. Adjust the strap to hold your feet close to your pelvis. Lie back and rest your arms by your sides with your palms facing up. Use a pillow under your head if available. Stay for 3–5 minutes.

Ardha Apanasana (Half Wind Relieving Pose)

Rocky Heron, practices half wind relieving exercise. He is wearing a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Widen the loop in the strap and place it around your torso. Lie back with the strap underneath your back ribs. Draw your right knee into your chest, open slightly toward your right shoulder. Loop the strap around your right shin and tighten it to hold your knee and thigh in position. Straighten your left leg and extend it along the floor. Rest your arms by your side. Stay for 2 minutes. Loosen the strap, release your right leg, and lower it to the floor. Repeat the pose on the left side.

Supta Padangusthasana 1 (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)

Rocky Heron practices Supta Padangusthasana (Hand to Big Toe Pose). He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Lie on your back with the strap positioned around your back ribs. Bend your right knee into your chest and loop the strap around your right foot. Press into the strap to straighten your leg. Adjust the strap as needed to accommodate the position. To regress (ease) the range of motion in your right hip, you can bend your left knee and place your foot on the floor. To progress (extend) the range of motion, straighten your left leg on the floor. Stay for 2 minutes. Move to Supta Padangusthasana 2.

Supta Padangusthasana 2

Rocky Heron practices Supta Padangusthasana 2 (Hand to Big Toe Pose). He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Keeping the strap in position, open your right leg out to the side. You can support your outstretched leg on a block or pillow if needed, but attempt to keep your pelvis and torso flat on the floor. Your left leg can  bend or straighten depending on your range of motion. Stay for 2 minutes. Switch sides, starting with Supta Padangusthasana 1 on your left leg.

Eka Pada Jathara Parivartanasana (One-Legged Belly Twist, bent knee variation)

Rocky Heron practices Eka Pada Jathara Parivartanasana (bent knee variation). He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Make a large loop in the strap and place it around your left shoulder. Lie on your back and bend your right knee into your chest. Shift your pelvis several inches to the right and twist, bringing your right knee across the midline of your body and over to the left. Place the other end of the strap around your right leg, just behind the knee, and tighten the loop to hold your leg in position. Open your arms like a T to each side. Widen your left ribs and attempt to bring your right shoulder to the floor. Stay for 2 minutes. Switch sides.

Adho Mukha Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)

Rocky Heron practices Adho Mukha Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana. He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Create a small loop in your strap. From a seated position, bend your right knee and place your right shin on the floor in front of you. Sweep your left leg back behind you. Lean to your right hip and place the small, looped end of the strap around your left foot. Draw the tail of the strap over your left shoulder. Turn your pelvis forward and balance on your shins. Hold the strap overhead with both hands and lean forward. Work your hands up the strap as you bend your back knee. Pin the strap down with your hands to maintain the position. Stay for 1–2 minutes then switch sides.

Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)

Rocky Heron practices 1 Paschimottanasana ( Seated Forward Bend ) . He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Sit with your legs in front of you. Put a big loop in the strap and place it around your torso, behind your back ribs. Bend your knees, hinge forward at your pelvis and loop the strap around your feet. Tighten the strap and bend your knees enough so that your trunk can come in contact with your thighs. Straighten your legs as much as you can and  maintain this position in your hips. If available, you can rest your head on a block between your shins. Stay for 2 minutes.

Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Rocky Heron practices savasana (Corpse Pose). He wears a light blue shirt and dark shorts on a black yoga mat, and works with a yoga strap. A concrete wall is in the background.
(Photo: Rocky Heron)

Lie on your back with your legs slightly wider than hips width. Place the strap across your closed eyes. Open your arms slightly wider than your shoulders and turn your palms up. Move your shoulder blades away from your ears and lengthen the back of your neck. Relax your body fully and stay for 5-plus minutes.

More prop-supported sequences from Rocky Heron

These additional practices demonstrate how to use props to enhance your practice, whether by regressing or progressing your movements. Here’s what you might have missed:


About our contributor

Rocky Heron is an internationally acclaimed yoga and movement educator, artist, and musician. Known for his uncanny wisdom and in-depth understanding of human anatomy, Rocky’s teaching is informed by years of study in many yoga styles and movement modalities. Considered a “teacher’s teacher,” Rocky works worldwide and online facilitating trainings and continuing education for teachers. Rocky works in collaboration with Noah Mazé as a faculty member and key contributor to the curriculum at the Mazé Method, and as a featured teacher on Yoga International. Rocky enjoys a rich and dynamic life with his magnificent community of artists, and is a founding member of the Queer Wellness Collective, which seeks to promote well-being to members of the queer community. Students steep themselves in Rocky’s teaching for his intelligence, humor, and innovative approach to movement, as well as his ability to make complex concepts accessible. Follow him on Instagram @rockyheron.

promo logo