Bolsters are a common prop in restorative and yin yoga, providing support and comfort in various poses. Investing in a yoga bolster is a great idea if you enjoy practicing this style of yoga at home. With different sizes, shapes, weight, and fillings available, there’s a bolster to suit everyone’s preferences.
Rectangular and round bolsters are the most popular and yoga studios often have a variety of shapes and sizes for you to try. When practicing at home, one bolster is usually enough, especially if you’re new to using this prop. Before making a purchase, consider how you’ll use the bolster in your practice to determine the size you need.
If you don’t have a bolster, pillows, cushions, and blankets can be used as a substitute, giving you a chance to see if a bolster is a good fit for your home yoga practice.
Here are ten ways to use a yoga bolster in different poses:
1. Supported Child’s pose
Place a bolster between your knees and rest your upper body and head on the bolster, with your arms extended forward or relaxed on the ground. If the bolster feels too low, you can place blocks, pillows, or blankets under it until you reach a comfortable height.
2. Reclined Bound Angle Pose
You can use bolster instead of blocks to support your knees in this restorative pose. Another way is to use bolster to elevate the heart and support your spine – this variation is great for pregnancy, when you can’t lie on the back comfortably. Additional blocks, pillows, or blankets can be placed under each thigh to relieve inner thigh strain.
3. Supported Backbend
Place the bolster in line with your shoulders and extend your arms over your head or interlace your hands behind your head to support your neck. You can keep your legs extended on the floor or bent.
4. Legs Up The Wall Pose
Place a bolster under your sacrum and extend your legs up. If you’re doing this pose next to a wall, place the bolster parallel to the wall, leaving a little space between the bolster and wall. Bring your hips as close to the wall as possible and relax your arms by your side.
5. Seated Forward Fold
For a restorative version of this pose, place a bolster on your legs and relax your upper body over the bolster. Experiment with the height by using pillows or blankets under the bolster and place a rolled blanket under your knees for added comfort.
6. Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Place a bolster on the floor in front of you in this pose for added relaxation and stretch in the lower back, inner legs, and backside of the legs. Use blocks, pillows, or blankets to adjust the height if needed.
7. Hero Pose/ Reclined Hero Pose
Use a bolster to make Hero Pose more comfortable, especially if you’re staying in the pose for a longer time during meditation or pranayama. For a reclined variation, use a bolster under your back for support and adjust the height as needed with blocks, pillows, or blankets.
8. Supported Twist
Begin seated on the floor with a bolster next to your hip and turn your upper body towards the bolster for a gentle supported twist. Use a pillow or folded blanket between your knees for added comfort.
9. Reclined Twist
Place a bolster under the bent knee in a reclined twist for extra support.
Placing a bolster under your knees in Savasana can relieve tension in the lower back, making it a great option for anyone experiencing lower back issues.
This is just a brief overview of the various ways you can use a yoga bolster in your practice. There are many more possibilities, so experiment to find what feels best for your body.
In conclusion, yoga bolsters are a versatile prop that can bring comfort and support to a variety of yoga poses. From supporting your back in Hero Pose to relieving tension in the lower back in Savasana, a bolster can greatly enhance your practice. Whether you prefer rectangular or round, invest in a bolster or use pillows, cushions, or blankets as a substitute, the benefits are sure to make your yoga practice more enjoyable.