For all yogis, the essence of yoga lies in the posture you perform. It stimulates all your muscles and calls for an inner synergy of body and mind. To ensure your posture is perfect and that you’re relaxed, many yogis prefer to use props such as Yoga bolsters, Yoga blocks, Yoga straps, Yoga mats etc. A very popular yoga prop used is a Yoga bolster – be it for restorative yoga, prenatal yoga, Iyengar yoga or even doing yoga in the comfort of your home.
A yoga bolsters is like a body pillow but firmer and either rectangular or circular in shape. The main purpose is to create relaxation, help soften a posture, or aid in opening up the body. It provides comfort, supports poses and increase stretching during restorative postures and deep breathing exercises.
The history dates back to the 1960s, when yoga teachers such as B.K.S. Iyengar noticed that many of their students had trouble maintaining proper posture in certain poses due to injury or lack of flexibility. Iyengar therefore developed and introduced props and equipment to help people access poses with greater comfort and better form.
Finding the right yoga bolsters for you is important, things you should consider before buying include shape (cylindrical/ rectangular/ lean), size (varies based on usage), weight (depending on what they’re filled with), filling (recron, buckwheat or polyester), color & pattern (not a deciding feature but choose a color that celebrates you!).
Some wonderful yoga bolster options from Healthy Life Cycle help alleviate tension throughout the body so you can focus on your asanas.
While a bolster can be used for various asanas, we’ve narrowed it down to the top 7 asanas used.
Find quick tips on how to use your yoga bolster to them here-
1. Savasana / Resting posture Place the yoga bolster directly under your knees and let the legs and let your feet float freely
2. Backbend Place bolster vertically behind you, lining the short end directly with the low back. Be sure to snug the bolster as close to the body as possible, then slowly lie back over it.
3. Paschimottanasana / Forward fold Stretch both legs out in front of the body and place the yoga bolster directly on top of the legs.
4. Upavistha Konasana / Wide seated forward bend Place the bolster in front of hips, lining up with the trunk of the body.
5. Sukhasana Find a comfortable cross-legged position on top of the bolster – ankles stacked in front of one another, half lotus, or full lotus position
6. Viparita Karani / Legs up the wall pose Press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis up so you can slide your bolster underneath your pelvis.
7. Balasana / child’s pose Let your arms drape either side of the yoga 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.
So go on, make your yoga experience easier, deeper, clearer and more meaningful by choosing a yoga bolster that’s right for you today!