A Simple Guide to Yoga Bolsters
There are many ways you can enhance your yoga practice. Some yogis use straps, cushions, and even blankets to bring more comfort and ease to their mat during yoga. However, one of the best yoga tools you can add to your routine is a yoga bolster.
Yoga bolsters are fairly inexpensive and
are quite easy to use. These products come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and
will match perfectly to your specifications.
So if you're interested in using a yoga bolster, we'll talk about what yoga bolsters can do for you here. We will also discuss the benefits of these versatile yoga tools throughout the post!
What are Yoga Bolsters?
Before we get into the benefits of bolsters, let’s talk about what yoga bolsters actually are. Yoga bolsters are essentially pillows that help you get into more complicated asanas or allow you to stay in them for longer durations. These cushions can help create less strain and stress to the body during your yoga practice.
In short, bolsters are useful tools that are soft, but firm enough to help support you as you do yoga. Anyone from beginners to advanced yogis can use a yoga bolster and these items are great for restorative yoga as well!
What are the Benefits of Using Yoga Bolsters in Your Practice?
1. They Can Help Beginners
If you're new to yoga, you might have some difficulty getting into certain yoga poses. In some cases, you might not be flexible enough to do a certain pose or set of poses. Alternatively, your body might not have built-up the muscles to support your full weight.
Bolsters mitigate these issues for beginners. They allow you to ease into postures and correct alignment issues. These pillows are much thicker and sturdier than normal pillows, so they offer a lot more stabilization to the body.
2. They Create More Comfort and Support in the Body
Yoga bolsters also reduce pain and bring
more support to the body. Your knees, hips, shoulders, and other joints might
not feel one-hundred percent all the time. For instance, if you need time to
heal from an injury or your range of motion is limited on some days, you can
use a bolster.
Various areas of your body will be better supported with the use
of this yoga tool, and tension will hopefully be relieved slightly from your muscles by using these bolsters.
3. They Can Help Improve Posture
Some of us need help with alignment
during yoga, especially if you're learning yoga on your own, you might not
know if your body is fully aligned or you simply might just have trouble with balance.
With a bolster, it may allow for your spine and other joints, more naturally, to sit into the correct position. Due to this, bolsters may be a way to reduce injuries and prevent pain and tension after yoga.
By placing bolsters in certain areas of need, the body will feel more comfortable doing various poses, otherwise that may have been impossible for you to accomplish.
4. Bolsters Help With Stress On The Body
Some people might think that yoga bolsters are, in a way, cheating? However, this is not the case at all. As we mentioned earlier, these cushions are great for restorative yoga, as a beginner, or simply when your body needs time to rest or heal.
Some people use pillows or blankets for restorative yoga, but longer yoga bolsters can be used, as well. Restorative yoga gets you more in touch with your body as you sink into poses more deeply, and for longer amounts of time.
So give it a try with your bolster!
5. Helps With Circulation/Blood Flow/Inflammation
In addition to helping with stress, yoga itself can improve your circulation and blood flow. Oxygen and nutrients may even flow more effectively when incorporating yoga bolsters into your routine.
Yoga bolsters are great in that they help to open up your body, giving parts of your body better elevation and longer holds of specific positions.
Studies suggest, yoga in general is great for shifting your bodies focus away from the fight or flight response to the parasympathetic system, or relaxation response. This in turn can help lower breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and increase blood flow to vital organs.
Bolsters may help to align the body better in yoga poses, and improve blood flow to certain areas of need during your stretching routines.
It has even been suggested in studies that yoga has the potential of being a "viable intervention" to reduce inflammation. Specifically within a multitude of chronic health conditions.
What Types of Yoga Bolsters Can You Use?
There are a few types of bolsters you can choose from. Here, we will detail the most popular types of yoga bolsters. Really, you want to get a product that is right for you and your level of usage. The thickness, shape, and color of your pillow should match your specific needs.
One of the most common bolsters is the rectangular yoga bolster. This bolster is thick and quite large in comparison to other bolsters. They are great for certain asanas like bends and twists, but they won’t be as useful for knee support or hanging poses.
If you want something a little more
comfortable and accessible, then you might want a more rounded bolsters. This type
of bolster can in ways offer more support to the joints, but in many cases is not as firm as a
rectangular bolster. In some cases, these pillows can also be quite bulky.
Pranayama bolsters come in both a cylinder or rectangular shape. These particular bolsters can be used for any breathing exercises. If you're practicing your pranayama, we highly recommend getting one of these yoga props.
Top Yoga Bolster Products:
The fact is, there are numerous yoga bolsters and brands that may fit your needs. From differing shapes, sizes, fabrics, and designs, to affordability, and comfort. The hardest part is knowing which one will be right for you, below we discuss just a few bolsters and brands. There are many others, but these should give your a good starting point to explore!
1. Lotuscrafts Bolster
Lotuscrafts is a bolster that is made specifically for restorative yoga. This rectangular cushion will help you sink deeply into each asana. It is made from all-natural and sustainable materials, and the cushion comes in several colors. Lotuscrafts products are often times regarded as soft and supportive, so they're great for stress and tension relief.
*We are not affiliates with any of these brands, we are just letting you know what is out there on the market : )*
2. Hugger Mugger Bolster
Hugger Mugger bolsters are some of the most popular bolsters on the market. These pillows are more lightweight than your average bolster. They are also easier to carry around and travel with, so many people love them for this reason alone.
Hugger Mugger has been making yoga products for decades. They are a solid brand with supportive, well-priced, well assorted yoga cushions and bolsters, so we definitely recommend looking at their site.
3. YogaAccessories Supportive Rectangular Bolster
YogaAccessories is another popular bolster brand. Their rectangular bolster is firm and great for people with back or joint pain. It offers some of the best support for yogis. However, this is a heavy bolster that can’t be moved around, traveled with as easily as some others, so keep this in mind.
4. YogaAccessories Round Bolster
Finally, the last bolster we'll be talking about is the YogaAccessories round bolster. This specific bolster can be used for all kinds of poses. It is a versatile yoga tool that offers a lot of great benefits. This round bolster is a little larger than some other rounded bolsters, but this just helps increase its supportive abilities.
Regardless of whether you're new to yoga, intermediate, or well into the practice, yoga bolsters can work for you and be another great too for your yoga sessions.
Be sure to research these well before buying, and find one that suits your level of expertise, body size, yoga abilities, price range and character. Thanks for coming by, see you again soon!