Once again, Yogitoes has taken an oldie-but-goodie, the yoga strap, and tried something new with it. They have created something called the ySTRAP, a stretchy yoga strap that provides resistance when you wrap it around your arms or legs. It’s elastic, and it is adjustable, so you can vary the resistance or tension in the strap according to your size and needs. The best poses for this strap, I found, are poses where there is a tendency for your arms to drift apart. For example, this is a useful strap for Pincha Mayurasana, Vrschikasana, Dolphin Pose, Urdvha Dhanurasana, Salamba Sarvangasana, and even Bakasana. One of my teachers likes to use this strap to keep her arms tucked in tight when she does the transition from Bakasana into Handstand, and vice versa.
I didn’t find this strap too useful, however, for some more basic purposes where a traditional strap might be better. In some poses, if you use a strap, you really don’t want any elasticity. For instance, in Utthita Hasta Padangustansa A, if you can’t reach your toes with a straight leg, it’s often nice to compenstate by wrapping a strap around your foot and holding onto the strap with your hand, which allwos you to get your leg straight(er) while maintaining good posture in the upper body. In such a pose, I don’t feel like it’s useful or desirable to have any give or stretch in the strap. In fact, I prefer to have a perfectly inelastic strap for this purpose so that I feel sturdier and more in control of the posture.
Overall: A- The ySTRAP is definitely a useful prop to have in your yoga tool box, but it’s not a necessity by any means. It is something that beginners and more advanced students alike can use, but regardless of your experience level, if you get the ySTRAP, you may find sometimes that the oldie-but-goodie yoga strap is actually better for some functions. Finally, I haven’t used the ySTRAP long enough to say anything about its durability, but from the looks of it, it will last quite a while and can probably withstand some serious use.