Yoga Bolsters

What is a yoga Bolster?

A yoga bolster is an accessory used to support poses, increase stretching and provide comfort during restorative yoga poses and deep breathing exercises. Some students find difficulty maintaining proper posture in some poses owing to injury or lack of flexibility and a yoga bolster help student to better access these poses.

How do I choose a yoga bolster?

Bolsters come in a variety of shapes and sizes and it isn’t always easy to know which bolster is right for you. Firstly what are you going to be using it for, for example, meditation? Restorative yoga? Deeper stretching, support for an injury?

If you have an injury or are working with a particular condition, again, speak with your yoga teacher who can advise you.

When choosing your bolster, there are five things that you need to consider: size, shape, weight, filling and colour or pattern.

Yoga bolsters generally come in three basic shapes: cylindrical, rectangular and lean. You’ll need to decide which is best for your particular needs.

Bolster come in different sizes You’ll need to check the size dimensions before making a choice. Yiga Bolsters also vary greatly in weight, depending on what they are filled with, the weight may be an important factor for you to consider if you are carrying a bolster to class with you

Bolsters contains a variety of fillings for a variety of reasons. You’ll need to do your research, because each filling acts in a different way and needs to be cared for in a different way. The bolsters stocked by Namaste Hatha Yoga are filled with eco-friendly buckwheat

The final consideration is colour and pattern. This is a personal choice and there are lots of colours and patterns available to choose from.

Some Poses to try with a yoga bolster

Balasana – Child’s pose

Childs pose using a yoga bolster

Kneel on the floor and then widen your knees apart, so the bolster can sit lengthways and snugly in between your thighs. Slowly, fold your torso over the bolster and let your head turn to one side.

Let your arms drape either side of the bolster – it might even be nice to let your hands wrap underneath the bolster as if you were giving it a little hug. Either way, find a version that lets your shoulders rest.

Notice your breath and let your front body soften into the support of the bolster.

After 5 minutes or so, let your head turn to the other side

Modifications:

If there is lots of space between your heels and the backs of your thighs or you have any knee pain, try placing a folded blanket or even another bolster between the backs of your thighs and calves.

If your head/neck doesn’t rest comfortably on the bolster, try placing a folded blanket underneath your head to act as a little pillow.

Sukhasana – Easy pose

Easy pose using a yoga bolster

Come to sit cross-legged on your bolster. You can sit directly on top of it or you can sit slightly forwards so that your sit bones roll over the edge of the bolster and your pelvis tilts forwards.

Let your hands rest softly somewhere on your thighs or knees.

Feel the weight of your pelvis and sit bones drop into the support of your bolster.

Let the crown of your head lift lightly towards the sky. Notice the back of your neck lengthen and feel your spine grow tall.

Place your awareness on your breath. Simply watch your inhale and your exhale, noticing the rise and fall or your belly and chest.

Sit for as long as feels appropriate or comfortable for you.

Modifications:

If you find your knees are very high away from the floor and it still feels uncomfortable to sit upright, try rolling up two blankets so they are in a short/fat sausage shape and place them underneath your knees for additional support.

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana  – Supported Bridge

supported bridge with a yoga bolster

Lie back on the floor or with your knees bent and your feet flat. Bring your heels towards your buttocks. Feet should be parallel and about hip width apart.

Press through the soles of your feet and curl your tailbone up lifting your hips towards the ceiling.

Slide your yoga bolster underneath your lower back so that it rests under your sacrum.  Lower your hips to the block allowing it to support your weight.

Arms rest alongside your body, hands extending towards the heels. The chin is slightly tucked. Shoulders are rolled under. Hold this position for as long as feels comfortable.

Don’t stay in this posture if you feel any pain.

There are many postures that you can do with a yoga bolster and the above are just suggestions. What’s your favourite supported posture?

Yoga Bolsters available at Namaste Hatha Yoga

We sell an extensive range of eco-friendly yoga bolsters