Yoga bolsters are a great prop, along with blocks, and can make doing yoga poses easier and less stressful on your knees, joints, and back. They are great for beginners and people who are less flexible.
But, before we start talking about how to use a yoga bolster, let’s ensure we’re all on the same page when it comes to what a yoga bolster actually is.
What Is a Yoga Bolster?
A yoga bolster is a special pillow designed to be placed underneath the body and help with a wide variety of yoga poses. It can be used both horizontally and vertically and is most often utilized during restorative or gentle yoga sessions. Yoga bolsters can also be useful for any other type of yoga, meaning there are no restrictions when it comes to using one.
Yoga bolsters are most commonly filled with a polyester hollow fiber filling, kapok, or buckwheat. The type of filling will determine the level of comfort you’ll experience while doing your yoga poses.
Whether or not you choose to use a yoga bolster depends on your preference and the poses you do throughout your yoga sessions.
Now that we all know what yoga bolster is let’s check out how to use it.
How to Use a Yoga Bolster?
Here we’ll look at a few different yoga poses you can do with a yoga bolster.
1. Supported Child
To achieve this pose, you should:
- Spread your knees as wide as you can.
- Put a yoga bolster between your knees.
- Place your upper body and your head on the yoga bolster.
- You can keep your arms on the bolster or put them beside you, on the ground. It’s entirely up to you!
You can add blocks or blankets under your yoga bolster to achieve the height that best suits you.
2. Legs up the Wall
To get this pose just right, you should:
- Put your yoga bolster underneath your sacrum (very end of your spine).
- Make sure you place the bolster parallel to the wall and leave enough space between them.
- Lay down on your back.
- Get your hips as close as possible to the wall and extend your legs.
- Put your arms by your side in a relaxed position.
This pose, also called asana, is amazing at helping you relieve yourself from that awful lower back pain.
This is a perfect yoga pose for people who are experiencing lower back pain. Here’s how you do it
- Lay on your back.
- Put your yoga bolster under your knees; this will relieve tensions in your lower back.
- Keep your arms beside your body, in a relaxed state.
4. Hero Pose (Virasana)
This pose can be difficult for beginners as it requires rotation of the thighs and hips. By adding a bolster to the equation, you can make this pose much easier while also reaping the benefits of doing it. Here’s how to do it:
- Start with the tabletop pose. Your knees should be hip-width apart.
- Place your yoga bolster horizontally, between your legs.
- Bend your knees a little and sit back on the bolster; ideally, the bolster should be under your tailbone.
- If this position becomes too uncomfortable for your knees, you can place blankets underneath them for added comfort.
- Tilt your pelvis forward and keep your back straight.
The hero pose is great for stretching your quadriceps, strengthening your lumbar region, and releasing pressure from your lower back.
5. Supported Fish
The supported fish pose is great for relieving your shoulder and/or chest pain. It helps with loosening up your upper body. This pose can also counteract the consequences of bad posture. Here’s how to do it:
- Sit in front of the yoga bolster while keeping your legs extended.
- Slowly lean back towards the bolster while keeping your hips close to the ground.
- Extend your arms to the sides in a relaxed position, with your palms facing the ceiling.
6. Supported Knee Twist
A supported knee twist pose is great for improving spinal flexibility and reducing stress. It can also help with digestion (go figure?). Here’s how to perform it:
- Start with laying on the floor with the bolster beneath your knees.
- Bend your knees, and put your right leg on top of your left one.
- Rotate the right leg over to the side while keeping your back on the floor.
- Extend your arms to the side with palms facing upwards.
7. Low Lunge
To avoid knee pain while making a low lunge, you should place a yoga bolster beneath your knees. Here’s how to do the whole pose:
- Start with a tabletop pose; your knees should be bent hip-width apart
- Place a bolster under your knees in a horizontal position.
- Put your left leg forward, placing it to face the outside of your left arm.
- Move into your right leg, and put your entire body’s weight on your right knee.
- Repeat, but this time with opposite legs.
What Is a Yoga Bolster Used For?
A yoga bolster is mostly used in restorative yoga. They are designed to help people fully relax during a yoga session. Yoga bolsters can be used to support different areas of your body during more difficult poses. They are often used to support the back or knees in poses that may be too challenging or can inflict additional strain on your joints.
Yoga bolsters are a great help for people who have reduced mobility or flexibility but still want to practice yoga.
What Are Yoga Bolsters Filled With?
Most yoga bolsters on the market are filled with a polyester hollow fiber filling, kapok, or buckwheat, although some bolsters do come filled with cotton. The type of filling used can affect the feel and the cushioning effect of the yoga bolster.
I hope you found this article helpful, please read on for more useful information for your yoga journey.