Yoga bolsters, along with all yoga props are great allies. They help you extend further, correct your body postures and relax while stretching. They feel so cuddly that you will want to use them all the time once you know how to integrate them into your practice.
What is a yoga bolster?
A yoga bolster is a long pillow shaped yoga accessory. It is packed firm to provide great suppor and is available in 2 shapes: rectangular or cylindric. Some of its uses are:
- extend the body for deeper stretch
- open your body
- correct body posture
- relax into restorative postures
- elevate the body: place under knees in savasana for deeper relaxation
Yoga bolster poses (practice each for 5min)
The following series of yoga bolster poses are restorative ones, aimed at stretching your body in a gentle and relaxing manner, providing an introspection and letting go effect. They are great to practice while on your menstruation. Indeed, they are based on the work of BKS Iyengar and his daughter Geeta Iyengar who both placed a lot of emphasis on adapting yoga during this sensitive monthly period. The serie relaxes your lower abdomen and improves blood flow. Iyengar does not recommend back bends, deep twists, inversions and core work while on your period. These poses should also be practiced regularly if you suffer from period/reproductive organs pains.
Supta Swastikasana or reclining cross-legged pose opens the hips, releases the abdomen, opens the chest and therefore improves breathing. It is a deeply relaxing pose. On the first picture, you can see how I extend my body over the yoga bolster pillow. You you should then lightly pivot your pelvis upwards to release your lower back. Roll your shoulders back and relax your arms then close your eyes.
Supta baddha konasana is another highly relaxing and enjoyable restorative yoga pose. Start off seated in baddha konasana (knees folded and feet together) then extend your back and rest it onto the yoga bolster (add a folded blanket underneath your head so that your chin does not point up). Then adjust your pelvis so that your lower back is not too arched. Relax your knees on a yoga block or yoga cushion.
Swastikasana - in this seated cross legged pose, extend your arms up and then fold forward (ensure you do not aim to reach the floor but rather lengthen your back as much as possible so that you open up and release the sacrum and lower back areas). Rest your forehead on a yoga bolster, yoga pillows or yoga block.
Utthita balasana or extended child pose is the best pose to let go of everything while stretching your back, arms and legs. Relieves stress, fatigue and calms the brain.
Janu Sirsasana or head-to-Knee Pose - stretches the back, hips and legs, calms the mind and relieves period pains as well as digestive problems.
Upavistha konasana or wide angle forward bend is one I struggle with. It is one of these poses that teaches you a great yogic lesson: let go of the ego, enjoy the journey without concentrating too much on the goal (reaching the floor). I prefer evolving in this pose through restorative yoga, allowing my body to extend forward onto the yoga bolster, sitting on a folded blanket (to help my lower back rotate forward) and relax into the stretch.
In setu bandha sarvangasana or bridge pose, give your spine a massage and open your heart while unwinding in this marvellous yoga pose.
Finish this restorative yoga session with a long savasana (corpse pose), placing a bolster underneath your knees for further relaxation of the legs and lower back.
What to consider when buying a yoga bolster?
- material: soft and organic (environmental footprint, less chemicals on your face)</span></p>
- removable case to wash
- possibility to refill inside pillow
- handle to carry it easily
Check out our high quality organic yoga bolster here.