Massage Therapists from across the country are asking me about my Ashiatsu straps and how to use them. These extra supports are something I’ve had in my practice since my first year or so practicing Ashiatsu, influenced by Aerial Yoga, Chavutti Thai and my own pure laziness. It’s a great tool to help you get up to your bars anywhere, rather than just at the head or foot ends of the table.
It will help you to save your hands even further, by not needing to death grip the bars anytime you need to lean out, and it will really help give you smooth leverage during the Ashi-Thai and Anterior/Sidelying moves.
Whatever you do – safety is the main factor, with “making your life easier” in second place. So always check that all the equipment you use during an Ashiatsu session can support your weight, will stay secured, will remain stealthy silent, and will help you work with great alignment and bodymechanics. My straps are a great tool that assists me in providing endless Ashiatsu sessions with ease, but you still have to be smart, think on your toes, and be aware of where the strap is at all times so you don’t lean back into nothing, or tangle yourself up mid stroke.
If the strap is ever in your way, you can just loop it over your bars, or install a hook somewhere to hang it on so it’s not in your face.
Ashi-Strap PART 1!
Ok, for the strap, get a metal “D ring” 10 foot long yoga strap. I use the Hugger Mugger brand. Slip the Ring end of the strap through the D rings and cinch it up around one of the stems of the eyebolt at the end of a dowel, let’s say this is my left dowel at the foot of the table.
Ashi-Strap PART 2!
The tail end: you are going to want to unscrew all the set screws on your right dowel.
Slide the dowel out of the 1st eyebolts up near the head of the table.
Tie a knot at the very end of the strap, and thread the flat part through the hole of the eyebolt. (Make sure there are no twists in the strap anywhere first!)
Slide the dowel back into that eyebolt hole, on top of the strap…..
Then screw the set screw back in: screw through the strap and into the dowel. (That’s what I’m doing in the picture, I know it’s a little blurry but do you see my screw driver and the set screw going up through the eyebolt, strap and dowel?)
Put all the other set screws back in, too.
ALTERNATIVELY, you could sew the strap into a loop, and just hang the loop off the end of your dowel, avoiding the need to unscrew everything. This is how our North Carolina Ashiatsu Instructor, Julie Marciniak secures her tail end of the strap.
Ashi-Strap PART 3!
Ok, so now you have the strap knotted and screwed into the 1st right eyebolt at the head of your table, (Or sewn and looped over the dowel) and the D rings are looped and cinched around the last left eyebolt at the foot of your table.
Get up there and lean back. Do your thang.
Ashi-Strap PART 4!
Using the strap on your Ashiatsu Portable Bars is a way to “create” a wall so that you can still perform the seated shoulder routine with support for your back. Check out what I’ve been doing since the beginning of my Ashi career!
For more ideas, follow this hashtag on Instagram: #ashiatsustrap
Ashiatsu Deepfeet Bar Therapy® is the leader in Continuing Education for Massage Therapists nationwide. Our method of deep tissue barefoot Swedish massage using an over head support system has improved the quality of life for many massage therapists around the world. Learn more at www.deepfeet.com.