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Amanda

yoga bolsters

Contrary to popular belief, yoga props such as yoga bolsters don’t make you a lazy or “bad” yoga practitioner. In fact, you will start seeing the popularity of yoga bolsters grow in 2022 and the years to come. Yoga means union and is all about achieving harmony between your mind-body in your day-to-day life – which is needed in the world more than ever! Yoga is very inclusive, still, you may find it easier to get started using props like bolsters. That’s why we have put together this yoga bolster guide to help you on your yoga journey and with the coming gift shopping.

Yoga props and yoga bolster pillows are especially useful to us as we age. For healthy aging, we need to be taking more conscious steps to look after our mental and physical well-being. Therefore, it is incredibly beneficial to start incorporating yoga into your life if you haven’t already.

Benefits of Yoga Bolsters

Yoga props, such as yoga bolsters are incredible tools for helping deepen your yoga practice. The great thing about props and yoga bolster pillows is that no matter your body type, you can have access to all sorts of poses because of them. 

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Bolsters let you safely and comfortably deepen your yoga practice.

Yoga bolsters deepen your practice by allowing you to enter poses with more ease, but still reap the benefits and feel the sensations that they are designed to give you. Other props in yoga include eye pillows, straps, blocks, and blankets. Yoga bolsters differ from meditation seats, as they are much more versatile for yoga and pilates purposes. Yoga bolster pillows, specifically, give us increased support and enhance the positive effects of the poses. 

The best bolsters for yoga will support your knees, ankles, head, spine, neck, and any other bones and joints that are more sensitive in your body. By easing any unnecessary tension or pain in the body, you are able to tap into the mindfulness of your yoga practice as well as preventing physical harm

You can also improve your posture in poses by using a yoga bolster. It is not always easy or natural to maintain alignment throughout the practice, so using a prop can help you achieve it comfortably. Proper posture allows your breath to move freely throughout the body as well as avoiding unnecessary discomfort. With that, your blood circulation will improve and inflammation can decrease – both of which are beneficial in aging.  

Best Yoga Bolsters on The Market in 2021/2022

Ideally, you want the yoga bolster to be stable, durable, and comfortable for your body to be fully supported. This means that the materials that make up the pillow are soft and sustainable, and easy to wash to keep clean. In 2021, you can now get many different shapes, sizes, and colors for your yoga bolsters to suit your needs. Here are some of our favorites that you can buy online. 

The Standard One 

This is the best yoga bolster if you are looking for something straightforward and basic. Hugger Mugger makes a large range of yoga bolsters, but this is a go-to for many. It is flat on both sides and wide to give you optimal support without your body sinking too much. Made with foam and cotton, it is comfortable, yet durable enough to use for many years to come!

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Hugger Mugger bolster pillow.

The Supportive One 

The yoga bolster pillow by Lotuscrafts offers the most comfortable and supportive feel for practicing yin yoga, restorative yoga, and even pilates. It gives you the ease you need during backbends and for the leg joints too. It is made from organic cotton, is eco-friendly, and sustainably sourced. Thanks to the kapok plant fibers that they use, it is pliable and soft as well. They offer it in two different sizes to suit your needs.

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Yoga bolster by Lotuscraft.

The Softest One 

The best yoga bolster cover goes to this one by Gaiam. It is perfect for relaxation practices such as restorative yoga, yoga Nidra, and meditation. It has a natural cotton filling and comes in different relaxing, earthy colors. It even has a strap for you to easily bring it to classes and to travel with!

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Gaiam yoga bolster.

The Stylish One 

This yoga bolster by Leewadee is definitely the most colorful and pretty one on the market. It is handmade and intricately designed in Thailand, using sustainably sourced materials. It is filled with kapok plant fibers and has firm padding to provide comfort as well as the support for a high-quality yoga bolster. It is round in shape, which makes it useful for meditation, yoga, or just chilling on the floor. 

Buy it on Amazon today.

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Leewadee yoga bolsters are available in many colors and patterns.

Types of Yoga that Use Bolsters

You may not be sure whether you will use your bolster in your classes (chances are you have already heard your teacher talk about this prop). Or you don’t know if the person you will gift actually needs a yoga bolster pillow for their practice. In either case, do not worry, just read below to find out about the top 3 yoga types that make use of bolster yoga pillows:

  • Yin Yoga: The poses in Yin yoga are held much longer than in Hatha and Vinyasa classes. However, Yin is perfect for everyone, even athletes, for really stretching and elongating the body. It has many benefits like lowering stress levels, increasing organ function, helping with muscle recovery. It is the “yoga of surrender,” and using your yoga bolster pillow will help you truly surrender to the poses comfortably. Here is a yin sequence for your lower back and hips.
  • Restorative Yoga: As the name suggests, this type of yoga is ideal for deep relaxation in the body. It is inactive, so it puts no pressure on your joints or muscles, but rather lets your body and mind relax. Your new yoga bolster is essential for restorative yoga practice and is extra useful for those with injuries or disabilities to get into poses. It is not only meditative for the mind but can lower our stress levels and benefit our immunity and nervous system (1). 
  • Yoga Nidra: This type of yoga is also known as “the yoga of sleep.” In this practice, the goal is to ender a conscious sleep, which is probably even more soothing than your sleep at night. With this deep form of sleep-like relaxation, you can reduce blood pressure, regulate blood sugar, improve digestion, balance hormones, and reduce fatigue (2). Needless to say, yoga bolster pillows, along with props like mats, blankets, and eye pillows, are vital for this yoga type. Learn more about Yoga Nidra here

Yoga Poses to Try with Your Bolster 

Here are some classic yoga poses that you can adapt by using your yoga bolsters. For the purpose of relaxation and recovery, hold these poses for at least 5 minutes. 

  • Child’s Pose 

Take the tension out of your hips and back in this pose by placing the yoga bolster pillow under your body. Relax your belly and the side of your head on the pillow and place the arms bent on each side. 

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Child’s pose with bolster.

  • Bridge Pose 

Instead of the classic bridge pose, lay your spine along the yoga bolster and open the arms to the sides. Feel how the heart, chest, and abdomen open, and your breathing becomes freer. 

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Bridge pose with bolster.

  • Easy Twist Pose

Lie on your back and straighten one leg as you bend the other. Take the bent knee across to the other side and place it on your yoga bolster, and just keep your arms in a cactus shape. This variation makes the twist less intense, but will still ease the abdomen and spine.   

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Easy twist pose with bolster. Credits: integrative wellness retreat

  • Legs to Wall Pose

Lie down with your legs up a wall (straight or slightly bent), and place the yoga bolster under your tailbone. This modification increases blood flow while taking the work out of the core and lower back. 

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Legs up the wall pose with bolster. Credits: inspire yoga

  • Supported Backbend

This is a gentle backbend that stretches your hips, abdomen, and spine. From kneeling, move the feet and calves to the side so that your tailbone sinks to the floor. Place the yoga bolster behind you so that you can lie on your back with the cushion along your spine. 

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Supported backbend with bolster.

  • Savasana

Savasana, or “corpse pose,” isn’t always as comfortable for everyone as it sounds. You can try placing the yoga bolster under your legs to give them some elevation off the floor, or you can use it under your head as a pillow. For savasana to be truly relaxing, you must be comfortable! 

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Supported backbend with bolster. Credits: Hugger Mugger

Conclusion

Yoga props, specifically yoga bolsters, are incredibly versatile and can enhance your practice significantly. Whether you want to level up in your asana practice, or simply get more comfortable in certain poses, these yoga bolsters are great tools to help you do so. For optimal health, as we age throughout our lives, the different types of yoga (learn more here) are perfect supplements for our holistic wellbeing. The mental and physical benefits are unparalleled to any exercise form that exists, as it is also a lifestyle. Buy your favorite yoga bolster pillow today and embark on this beautiful journey for yourself. 

Amanda

Hi, I’m Amanda! I’m a singer/actress as well as a yoga instructor, who is super passionate about holistic wellness. Having suffered mental and physical stresses due to the hectic life of a performer, I have regained strength through practicing yoga, mindfulness, and healthy eating. I am a firm believer in the power of holistic health to navigate this crazy world we live in, and I hope to help and inspire others on their journeys to a healthier, happier self.