Yoga Straps Rescue a Pear Tree in Peril

This entry was posted on Aug 27, 2012 by Charlotte Bell.

Yoga Straps Rescue a Pear Tree in Peril

I recently had to have an old box elder tree removed from my back yard. Once a towering shade tree that protected my yard from the blazing summer sun and provided a hideaway for at least two litters of feral cats, the old box elder was dying. Only a half dozen of its branches had sprouted a piddly few leaves this year. It was time to let it go.

While the tree expert was assessing the situation, he noticed my small Bartlett pear tree was laden with fruit. The tree is a mere eight feet tall and all its branches and fruit are on the sunny, south side of the tree. He was concerned that once the fruit matured, the tree would be pulled over by its weight. He suggested I find some kind of strap — not a rope, since rope would cut into the tree — to tie it to its neighbor, a sturdy quince tree.

I absolutely didn’t want to lose this tree before its time. The pears it produces are the sweetest, most succulent fruit I have ever tasted. I always look forward to pear season. I deliberated for a few weeks on how I might shore up the tree. What could I use that was strong enough to support the weight of the tree and its fruit, without cutting into it?

The Perfect Solution

Then one day as I practiced Supta Padanghustasana (Reclined Hamstring Stretch), it dawned on me. The answer was literally right in my hands — yoga straps! Because I’ve been associated with Hugger Mugger since they started in 1986, I have a variety of straps that they’ve given me over the years to test for the webbing’s strength and comfort, and to make sure the buckles stayed secure. Knowing that Hugger Mugger’s webbing is designed to withstand up to 400 pounds of weight before it will start to fray, yoga straps seemed like the perfect solution.

In June, I strapped my pear tree to my quince tree with two Hugger Mugger straps. I used a 20-year-old natural-colored strap with a D-Ring buckle and a 15-year-old grey-colored strap with a Cinch buckle. I’m happy to report that not only has my pear tree stayed upright, the buckles have not loosened over the past two months. When the tree is done producing, my straps can easily return to yoga practice. I ate my first luscious pears today.

We know that blocks, mats, straps, blankets, wedges, bolsters and cushions are great for yoga and meditation. Have you used any of your Hugger Mugger props for anything other than yoga? Tell us how and we’ll post your ideas on Facebook!

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

4 responses to “Yoga Straps Rescue a Pear Tree in Peril”

  1. Avatar Joanna Colwell says:

    I loved the story of your pear tree, saved by yoga straps!

    It reminded me of a time when I was driving down the mountain to teach a class. As always, in the years before I had my own studio, the back of my Subaru was filled with yoga mats, blankets, blocks and straps.

    As I drove past a trail head, I noticed a parked car, and then a medium sized yellow dog running wildly down the middle of the road!

    I pulled over and called the dog to me. I was so worried she would get hit by a car. She was skittish, but eventually I managed to grab her collar. By now I was pretty sure that her owner was hiking on the trail, and that the parked car, dog, and hiker all went together. I took a yoga belt out of my car and fastened it to the dog’s collar, and tied the other end to the parked car’s side view mirror.

    Then I wrote a note that said “If this is not your dog, please take her to the Humane Society. And please call me so I know what happened!”

    When I got home from teaching that night, there was a message from a very grateful dog owner. Thanks, yoga strap!!

    • Avatar Charlotte Bell says:

      What a great story! The first straps that Sara Chambers made for Hugger Mugger were made from webbing that was used for dog leads. I’m glad you could save a dog with your yoga strap!

  2. Avatar Katie Fox-Boyd says:

    How creative! I love the idea of using a yoga prop to support another living thing. It also makes me appreciate the true strength of straps!

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