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

yoga poses with bolster
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 42

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

If you wish to observe yoga at dwelling, a yoga bolster is an excellent funding. By supporting completely different parts of the physique, bolsters might 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 assist the physique to assist it accomplish even difficult yoga poses.

The firmness of a product is generally influenced by private desire and the aim for which will probably be used. You don’t nonetheless want them to be too mushy, as they received’t give full help.

Advantages of utilizing a bolster in yoga

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

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

  • Bolster pillows are extra inflexible than customary mattress pillows therefore it supplies strong assist 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 groups. 
  • They’re additionally good for people who’ve shoulder and hip troubles.
  • Bolsters are an important instrument when used for pre and postnatal yoga. In addition they help throughout restoration from damage, 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 right your backbone versus sitting on a sofa. This sitting place can be useful to your backbone and again muscle groups.
  • Utilizing a bolster might help you attain wider flexion and reap the deserves of the pose. It may well additionally allow 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 guts chakra when it’s laid lengthwise alongside the mid to higher again, neck, and head.
  • To reinforce 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 straightforward to take care of, retailer and have an extended life.

8 methods a bolster can be utilized

ways to use bolster
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 43

A bolster could also be utilized in your yoga observe whether or not you’re a newbie working towards primary asana and require assist or a seasoned practitioner on the lookout for 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 groups. Whether or not you have got an damage or your physique isn’t as versatile because it as soon as was, a bolster would possibly allow you to maintain more durable postures for longer intervals. 

A bolster will support in extending your muscle groups and permitting you to perform tougher yoga poses with out putting extreme strain on the physique. When working towards superior postures with safer observe, a bolster will present assist and contribute considerably. 

It lets you keep within the place for longer and grow to be extra accustomed to it with out producing stress from urgent towards a tough floor for an prolonged time.

2. For restorative poses

The essential purpose of restorative yoga is to alleviate pressure and anxiousness. 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 attain new heights could be a number of enjoyable! 

To attain the best outcomes, it’s key to decide on the proper bolster form. An ordinary bolster and a cylinder bolster underneath the knees are generally utilized in restorative yoga.

3. For assist throughout inversions

A bolster helps make inversion yoga poses simpler and fewer uncomfortable when you might want to get your ft up with out putting an excessive amount of weight in your head. When doing a headstand, for instance, you may 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 top, bolsters may give the additional top when wish to increase 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

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

The added top supplied 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 assist the sacrum and alleviate decrease again pressure in case your backbone and sacrum are inclined to droop in sitting poses.

5. For helping the backbone

The top and chest are ceaselessly held away from the ground throughout rehabilitation workout routines. The bolster supplies agency, sturdy assist 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 comparable 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 carried out with an open coronary heart. 

The bolster’s additional top lets you use it as an extension of your arms. You possibly can assist your weight along with your elbows somewhat 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 allow you to enhance your skill to carry out these poses simply along with your physique in time as you observe.

7. For postnatal yoga

Yoga bolsters can be utilized to adapt typical yoga for pregnant ladies with out dropping the rewards of the method. A bolster can assist the abdomen, forestall it from dropping to the ground, and supply comfy assist for the arms and head. A pregnant woman can execute the side-lying place, Savasana mendacity on her again, and assist ahead fold with the yoga bolster.

8. For selling rest

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

Whenever you don’t have to consider doing all your posture accurately for an prolonged period of time, utilizing a bolster might 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 sort of bolster you would like, based mostly in your intention and observe targets.

As a result of the oblong bolsters are wider, they supply a bit of further assist. Whereas a spherical bolster is barely narrower, it might trigger your shoulders to hold off the aspect when you have vast shoulders.

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

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

Under are some examples the place you should utilize bolsters to make the method to a pose simpler:

1. Hero Pose with bolster underneath hips

hero pose with bolster under 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 reduce pressure in your knees, you should utilize a bolster to elevate your hips. It is going to assist with holding 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 along 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 going through outwards. They need to be pointed straight in 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 direction of the entrance.
  • Maintain the pose for no less than 30 seconds to 1 minute and step by step enhance the period of time.

2. Bridge Pose with bolster underneath sacrum

bridge pose restorative yoga
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 44

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

Utilizing a bolster in bridge pose will take off a few of the strain from the ft and shoulders. It is going to make the pose simpler to method and maintain for an extended length. It makes this a supported bridge pose, generally used amongst restorative yoga poses.

In the event you’re utilizing an oblong bolster, you should utilize one or a number of, based mostly on the peak of the elevate you wish to obtain. A cylindrical bolster can even assist should you purpose to step by step enhance 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 going through down. This can even support in lifting your hips.
  • With assist of your hamstrings, core muscle groups, and arms, elevate your hips off the ground. 
  • Place a bolster horizontally underneath your sacrum. When positioned vertically, it should assist 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 comfy.

3. Fish Pose with bolster underneath higher again

supported fish pose with bolster under upper back
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 mild therapeutic massage and stretch to the higher again muscle groups.

An oblong bolster can even be useful when positioned lengthwise. It is going to assist the whole part from the top to the higher again. Nonetheless, on this case, your shoulders might dangle 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 in step with your shoulder blades.
  • Hold your legs collectively and stretch them straight or with a slight bend on the knees. You can too add a blanket underneath your hips. 
  • Your fingers could be positioned beside your physique, on high of your chest, or bent on the elbows with palms up.
  • Keep on this pose for so long as you need.

4. Reclined Sure Angle Pose with bolster supporting again

reclined bound angle pose with bolster
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 45

On this pose, you may successfully open your hips in addition to your chest. For many who can’t recline as a consequence of stiffness of the again or hip muscle groups or any medical constraints, utilizing bolsters could make this pose restorative and simple to observe.

In reclined sure angle pose, the bolster can be utilized in some ways. You possibly can place an oblong bolster lengthwise underneath your again which is able to assist your torso and neck. Utilizing folded blankets on high of the bolster provides you with an elevated head to cut back the pressure on the neck.

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

  • Lie down in your yoga mat fully in your again.
  • For an elevated torso, you may place a bolster lengthwise on two blocks and regulate the blocks in a approach that provides a reclining angle. Or use the method described above.
  • Bend your knees on the perimeters and convey your ft collectively on the soles. You possibly can 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 high of your stomach. 
  • Maintain this pose for 5-7 breaths or for as lengthy you need. 

5. Baby’s Pose with bolster to assist torso and fingers

child pose restorative yoga
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 46

There are a number of methods you should utilize a bolster in little one’s pose. You possibly can place it between your thighs to relaxation your higher physique when your bend ahead. An oblong bolster will likely be a sensible choice for this.

You can too place it in entrance of your head so to relaxation your fingers on it after getting reached the total ahead fold in little one’s pose. If that’s the case, choose a cylindrical bolster.

Use one of many two choices or each concurrently, both approach, it is possible for you to to rework this enjoyable 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 along with your huge 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 high of it. You should use a rolled towel, pillow, or folded blanket to maintain underneath the again of the thighs in case of tense hips.
  • Place your head on high of the bolster to maintain it in step with the backbone. When you’ve got positioned your cheeks, just be sure you 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 may relaxation your brow. You possibly can 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

Restorative legs up the wall pose
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 47

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

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

  • Place the shorter finish of the yoga mat near the wall and maintain a bolster on that finish.
  • On the alternative finish of the mat, place a folded blanket or pillow on your head.
  • Lie in your again and shimmy near the wall. Lengthen your legs in 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. 
  • In case you are 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 aspect along with your fingers unfold, place them beside you or on high of your stomach.
  • You possibly can maintain this place for so long as you need however make sure that to carry it for no less than 5-10 minutes.

7. Corpse Pose

corpse pose with bolster
Learn how to Use Bolster in Yoga Poses (and Advantages of Utilizing It) 48

One of many best but the toughest pose is the savasana. It’s troublesome to remain nonetheless nonetheless it proves to be the most effective restoratives, calming, and enjoyable poses. You possibly can add bolsters in any approach right here. It is going to assist in rising the enjoyable quotient of the pose.

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

  • Lie down in your again along 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 when you have again ache.
  • Similar to you used bolster within the fish and reclining sure angle pose, you may place the bolster in the identical method for this pose as properly.
  • You can too place a small bolster in your chest, stomach, pelvis, thighs, or decrease legs should you really feel comfy. Right here you should utilize a blanket to cowl your self to additional induce sleep.
  • Lie fully nonetheless for a most of quarter-hour.


Yoga props present a plethora of choices for various your observe and placing your physique and thoughts to new challenges. Bolsters are a really adaptable instrument that helps you push your yoga observe to new heights. Bolsters may also allow 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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