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Tips on how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It)

A yoga bolster is a sturdy cylindrical or rectangular cushion stuffed with buckwheat or hole fibers. You may see utilizing bolsters in restorative and yin yoga, in addition to for meditation and basic rest functions.

If you wish to apply yoga at dwelling, a yoga bolster is a superb funding. By supporting totally different parts of the physique, bolsters may also help you chill out extra in restorative yoga postures.

Yoga bolsters can be found in a wide range of sizes, shapes, weights, and fillings.

The sturdy cylindrical form is good for supporting the physique in seated, reclining, and supine positions, and could also be used to each chill out and help the physique to assist it accomplish even difficult yoga poses.

The firmness of a product is usually influenced by private choice and the aim for which it will likely be used. You don’t nevertheless want them to be too smooth, as they received’t give full help.

Advantages of utilizing a bolster in yoga

The bolster presents a cushion between your physique and the arduous ground or yoga mat, enabling you to be extra snug whereas performing numerous yoga poses. A bolster isn’t only for novices; it may be utilized in a wide range of methods that can assist you with stretches and primary asana.

A number of the different frequent advantages of utilizing a bolster are:

  • Bolster pillows are extra inflexible than customary mattress pillows therefore it gives strong help to the physique in most postures.
  • Inserting a bolster beneath your knees will help your hips in curving your again, relieving pressure and tense muscle tissue. 
  • They’re additionally good for people who’ve shoulder and hip troubles.
  • Bolsters are an awesome instrument when used for pre and postnatal yoga. In addition they help throughout restoration from harm, irritation, surgical procedure, or an sickness.
  • A bolster is especially helpful for individuals who’ve a hunchback. It may be used as a chair for again ache aid and posture correction. 
  • Sitting on a bolster on the ground will higher appropriate your backbone versus sitting on a sofa. This sitting place can be useful to your backbone and again muscle tissue.
  • Utilizing a bolster may also help you attain wider flexion and reap the deserves of the pose. It may well additionally assist you to keep away from accidents that might in any other case hinder you from continuing with a stretch or yoga session.
  • It stimulates circulation within the chest and opens the center chakra when it’s laid lengthwise alongside the mid to higher again, neck, and head.
  • To boost the functioning of the digestive system and intestine, putting a bolster underneath the decrease again proves useful.
  • They’re ergonomically pleasant and are generally used to advertise rest, ease postures, and support in physique opening.
  • Bolsters are simple to take care of, retailer and have an extended life.

8 methods a bolster can be utilized

A bolster could also be utilized in your yoga apply whether or not you’re a newbie working towards primary asana and require help or a seasoned practitioner in search of a brand new stability downside.

Bolsters come into use when utilized for prolonged holds in restorative postures, meditation, rest, and rehabilitative remedy. Experiment with what works and let your concepts run free!

Listed below are some methods bolsters can be utilized in yoga:

1. For holding poses

It’s important to remain relaxed when holding a pose for an prolonged interval to get energy and stamina in associated muscle tissue. Whether or not you might have an harm or your physique isn’t as versatile because it as soon as was, a bolster may assist you to maintain more durable postures for longer durations. 

A bolster will support in extending your muscle tissue and permitting you to perform harder yoga poses with out putting extreme stress on the physique. When working towards superior postures with safer apply, a bolster will present help and contribute considerably. 

It permits you to keep within the place for longer and turn into extra conversant in it with out producing stress from urgent towards a tough floor for an prolonged time.

2. For restorative poses

The fundamental purpose of restorative yoga is to alleviate pressure and nervousness. A bolster is versatile sufficient to depend on in a fold to alleviate pressure on the stretch. Along with the lengthy maintain, it additionally compels your thoughts right into a meditative state. When you’ve got quite a few bolsters or pillows, stacking and piling them to realize new heights will be a whole lot of enjoyable! 

To realize the best outcomes, it’s key to decide on the proper bolster type. A normal bolster and a cylinder bolster underneath the knees are generally utilized in restorative yoga.

3. For help throughout inversions

A bolster helps make inversion yoga poses simpler and fewer uncomfortable when it’s worthwhile to get your ft up with out putting an excessive amount of weight in your head. When doing a headstand, for instance, you’ll be able to keep away from the uncomfortable friction with the ground by putting a round bolster beneath your head.

By serving to your weight shift simply from ft to the pinnacle, bolsters may give the additional top when need to elevate your legs up the wall inversion and deepen your headstand or forearm stand.

A bolster underneath your shoulder blades will help your posture within the plow pose and shoulder stand.

4. For elevating the hips

If you lay a bolster underneath your hips, it helps to take care of the upright place of the backbone, which robotically aids in improved meditation results. When doing seated poses, utilizing a bolster may also help elevate your hips off the bottom and provide your legs extra room to open.

The added top offered by a bolster can chill out stiff hips and knees, permitting you to remain within the place for prolonged lengths of time. The elevated top helps to help the sacrum and alleviate decrease again pressure in case your backbone and sacrum are inclined to droop in sitting poses.

5. For aiding the backbone

The top and chest are regularly held away from the ground throughout rehabilitation workout routines. The bolster gives agency, sturdy help on your torso and head when positioned lengthwise underneath the backbone. Positioning a bolster vertically underneath your backbone whereas meditation mellows down respiratory workout routines. It opens the physique and chest for deeper and longer breaths, which will increase efficiency whereas doing yoga.

6. For folds and bends

A bolster is helpful for alleviating into ahead and backward bend poses corresponding to wheel pose, downward canine, camel pose, seated ahead bend, and many others. Securing a bolster within the correct place relieves compression and prevents again pressure. It will increase the effectiveness of difficult and superior poses when achieved with an open coronary heart. 

The bolster’s additional top permits you to use it as an extension of your arms. You may help your weight together with your elbows moderately than your wrists in postures like downward canine and cobra, or you should utilize the softness to cushion your knees in postures like camel or any pose that want you to place weight in your knees.

Utilizing a bolster may also assist you to enhance your skill to carry out these poses simply together with your physique in time as you apply.

7. For postnatal yoga

Yoga bolsters can be utilized to adapt standard yoga for pregnant girls with out shedding the rewards of the approach. A bolster can help the abdomen, stop it from dropping to the ground, and supply snug help for the arms and head. A pregnant girl can execute the side-lying place, Savasana mendacity on her again, and help ahead fold with the yoga bolster.

8. For selling rest

Inserting a bolster beneath your knees or behind your again permits you to submit and really chill out your physique, permitting you to get essentially the most out of your resting poses. Bolsters are perfect for grounding since they’re thick, and the sensory suggestions is a incredible approach to maintain the thoughts anchored.

If you don’t have to consider doing all of your posture appropriately for an prolonged period of time, utilizing a bolster may also help you keep within the current. Leisure aids in higher respiratory and stress aid.

Yoga poses modifications with bolster

Earlier than you begin working towards with bolsters, decide which kind of bolster you would favor, primarily based in your intention and apply objectives.

As a result of the oblong bolsters are wider, they supply slightly extra help. Whereas a spherical bolster is barely narrower, it could trigger your shoulders to hold off the facet if in case you have large shoulders.

Then there’s the matter of the load. The upper-quality bolsters will probably be heavier, offering extra help and sturdiness. The lighter ones will probably be fantastic for journey, however not a lot for physique help.

Resolve on the kind of help you need and the form and weight that’s best for you.

Beneath are some examples the place you should utilize bolsters to make the strategy to a pose simpler:

1. Hero Pose with bolster underneath hips


Hero pose is commonly troublesome to maintain as you must maintain your again upright and sit between your decrease legs in a kneeling place. Right here to attenuate pressure in your knees, you should utilize a bolster to elevate your hips. It should assist with conserving your backbone aligned and again straight. It may well additionally assist in decreasing the pressure in your hips, quads, and knees.

  • Come to an upright kneeling place together with your higher ft flat on the mat.
  • Place your fingers on the mat and transfer your ft at a distance barely greater than the hip width. The gap needs to be sufficient to put your buttocks between the hole. 
  • Place an oblong bolster lengthwise within the hole created.
  • The toes shouldn’t be tucked in or dealing with outwards. They need to be pointed straight in the direction of the again.
  • Slowly, sit down on the bolster. If wanted, create more room by manually transferring your shins additional. 
  • For stiff ankles, use folded blanket/towel underneath them. Moreover, use yoga blocks or folded blanket/towel underneath your knees to cut back pressure and friction.
  • Hold your backbone straight, shoulders away out of your ears, and gaze straight in the direction of the entrance.
  • Maintain the pose for at the very least 30 seconds to 1 minute and regularly improve the period of time.

2. Bridge Pose with bolster underneath sacrum

Bridge pose is a light inversion, chest and hip opener, and a core strengthening pose. Holding the pose after the elevate of the hips will be difficult in case you are a newbie, have tight hips, thigh, and again muscle tissue together with a stiff shoulder. 

Utilizing a bolster in bridge pose will take off a number of the stress from the ft and shoulders. It should make the pose simpler to strategy and maintain for an extended length. It makes this a supported bridge pose, generally used amongst restorative yoga poses.

For those who’re utilizing an oblong bolster, you should utilize one or a number of, primarily based on the peak of the elevate you need to obtain. A cylindrical bolster may also assist should you intention to regularly improve the lean.

  • Lie in your again and unfold your legs hip-width aside.
  • Bend your knees in order that your decrease legs are perpendicular to the ground and are ft are firmly positioned on the mat.
  • Hold your fingers beside your physique, palms dealing with down. This may also support in lifting your hips.
  • With assist of your hamstrings, core muscle tissue, and arms, elevate your hips off the ground. 
  • Place a bolster horizontally underneath your sacrum. When positioned vertically, it should help your decrease again and tailbone.
  • Moreover, you may also place a rolled blanket underneath your head. 
  • Maintain this place for 5-7 breaths or so long as you are feeling snug.

3. Fish Pose with bolster underneath higher again

Picture: Jennifer [email protected]

The supported fish pose is a superb chest opener and backbend. It helps in decreasing the stiffness of the higher again and shoulders. Utilizing a cylindrical bolster underneath the higher again will assist in holding the pose longer and transfer up and down for a delicate therapeutic massage and stretch to the higher again muscle tissue.

An oblong bolster may also be useful when positioned lengthwise. It should help all the part from the pinnacle to the higher again. Nevertheless, on this case, your shoulders could hold on the perimeters which you’ll have to maintain lifting by yourself.

  • Place a cylindrical bolster parallel to the shorter finish of the mat. Lie down such that the bolster is consistent with your shoulder blades.
  • Hold your legs collectively and stretch them straight or with a slight bend on the knees. You too can add a blanket underneath your hips. 
  • Your fingers will be positioned beside your physique, on prime of your chest, or bent on the elbows with palms up.
  • Keep on this pose for so long as you need.

4. Reclined Certain Angle Pose with bolster supporting again

On this pose, you’ll be able to successfully open your hips in addition to your chest. For many who can not recline resulting from stiffness of the again or hip muscle tissue or any medical constraints, utilizing bolsters could make this pose restorative and straightforward to apply.

In reclined sure angle pose, the bolster can be utilized in some ways. You may place an oblong bolster lengthwise underneath your again which can help your torso and neck. Utilizing folded blankets on prime of the bolster gives you an elevated head to cut back the pressure on the neck.

Use a bolster to maintain on prime of your pelvis for an added grounding expertise.

  • Lie down in your yoga mat utterly in your again.
  • For an elevated torso, you’ll be able to place a bolster lengthwise on two blocks and modify the blocks in a manner that offers a reclining angle. Or use the approach described above.
  • Bend your knees on the perimeters and produce your ft collectively on the soles. You may place blocks underneath every knee, cushions underneath the thighs, and a folded blanket underneath your hips.
  • Hold your fingers at your sides with palms up or on prime of your stomach. 
  • Maintain this pose for 5-7 breaths or for as lengthy you need. 

5. Little one’s Pose with bolster to help torso and fingers

There are a number of methods you should utilize a bolster in baby’s pose. You may place it between your thighs to relaxation your higher physique when your bend ahead. An oblong bolster will probably be a good selection for this.

You too can place it in entrance of your head with the intention to relaxation your fingers on it after you have reached the total ahead fold in baby’s pose. In that case, choose a cylindrical bolster.

Use one of many two choices or each concurrently, both manner, it is possible for you to to remodel this stress-free pose right into a deeply restorative pose in a matter of minutes.

Utilizing bolster may also alleviate any pressure in your neck, again, hips, and stomach. 

  • Sit in your knees together with your large toes touching, buttocks positioned on the heels, and your knees hip-width aside.
  • Place a bolster between your inside thighs and bend ahead to put your torso on prime of it. You should utilize a rolled towel, pillow, or folded blanket to maintain underneath the again of the thighs in case of tense hips.
  • Place your head on prime of the bolster to maintain it consistent with the backbone. When you’ve got positioned your cheeks, just remember to maintain altering the perimeters to keep away from stiffness within the neck. 
  • If the bolster’s size is brief, place a stack of blocks the place you’ll be able to relaxation your brow. You may maintain your fingers beside you or stretch in entrance of you.
  • Keep this pose for so long as you want.

6. Legs up the wall Pose with bolster to raise hips

The legs up the wall pose, aka Viparita Karani, is in itself a really stress-free and restorative pose. This pose additionally comes within the class of delicate inversion. If you add bolsters, it raises your hips and will increase the inversion. In addition they act as a help to your hips throughout being pregnant or if in case you have a decrease again downside.

The selection of the bolster, rectangular or cylindrical, is determined by your choice.

  • Place the shorter finish of the yoga mat near the wall and maintain a bolster on that finish.
  • On the other finish of the mat, place a folded blanket or pillow on your head.
  • Lie in your again and shimmy near the wall. Prolong your legs in the direction of the roof and relaxation them on the wall. You even have the freedom to bend your knees in case you are unable to maintain them straight. 
  • If you’re pregnant or expertise discomfort in your again whereas mendacity in your again, place a stack of blankets or pillows behind your higher again to raise at an angle. 
  • Unfold your fingers to the facet together with your fingers unfold, place them beside you or on prime of your stomach.
  • You may maintain this place for so long as you need however be sure to carry it for at the very least 5-10 minutes.

7. Corpse Pose

One of many best but the toughest pose is the savasana. It’s troublesome to remain nonetheless nevertheless it proves to be the most effective restoratives, calming, and stress-free poses. You may add bolsters in any manner right here. It should assist in growing the stress-free quotient of the pose.

The bolster will also be used to induce grounding by putting an oblong bolster on the pelvis, stomach, or thighs. 

  • Lie down in your again together with your legs stretched out. Use a pillow or a cushion underneath your head, a bolster underneath your knees and ankles to maintain your legs in a straight line.
  • Unfold your arms beside you and give up your weight on the props. Place a bolster underneath your thighs if in case you have again ache.
  • Identical to you used bolster within the fish and reclining sure angle pose, you’ll be able to place the bolster in the identical method for this pose as properly.
  • You too can place a small bolster in your chest, stomach, pelvis, thighs, or decrease legs should you really feel snug. Right here you should utilize a blanket to cowl your self to additional induce sleep.
  • Lie utterly nonetheless for a most of quarter-hour.


Yoga props present a plethora of choices for various your apply and placing your physique and thoughts to new challenges. Bolsters are a really adaptable instrument that helps you push your yoga apply to new heights. Bolsters may also assist you to really feel higher in postures like Yin and Restorative Yoga, which urge you to unwind and let go of stress in your physique.



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