Ahhhh…..yoga bolsters…..the prop that takes your “restoration” to a new level!
Bolsters come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, but basically, it’s a big pillow to make your restorative yoga poses more relaxing. They can also help “raise the floor” to modify a challenging pose.
If you attend a restorative yoga class, you will most likely have used these – sometimes for the entire class. In gentle yoga classes, sometimes bolsters are used in the cool down part of the class or during savasana (corpse pose).
At home, these wonderful props can help you unwind after a stressful day at work. Bolsters support your body and allow your muscles to relax. As your muscles let go of tension and as your mind becomes calm, your nervous system gets the signal that it’s ok to relax. It’s a great way to wind down before bed, after work, or after a stressful situation.
Here are some comfortable restorative poses that use a bolster.
Which Bolster is Right for You?
The bolster I used in the pictures above, YogaAccessories Supportive Yoga Bolster, can be found on Amazon, and is usually reasonably priced.
It is a rectangle shape and a little wider than the oval shaped bolster, which allows you to feel a little more support during use. These bolsters are filled with very thick and dense cotton, so I suggest either walking on them to break them in or letting your kids play with them for a little bit. (I did this, and they softened up nicely.)
They come in lots of different colors. As you can see, I have a dark green and 2 light green bolsters. The fabric is durable – almost like a soft denim, and it unzips so that you can machine wash it if you need to.
89% of Amazon buyers have rated this bolster either 4 or 5 stars, and have some great things to say about it. The only negative, that I also experienced, is that it does have a smell when it arrives. I left mine outside on my porch and the smell went away rather quickly!
Oval Shaped Bolster
The bolsters that I commonly see and use in yoga studios are the Hugger Mugger Standard Yoga Bolster.
They have almost the same dimensions as the rectangular bolsters, but they are usually a little less “stuffed” and are filled with a combination of cotton, polyester, and foam blend, which also makes them weigh less and slightly easier to carry around. Sometimes a softer bolster is more comfortable for twists and chest opening poses. You can always get 2 and double up the bolsters in your practice.
These bolsters come in less of a variety of colors, but also have a machine washable cover.
90% of Amazon buyers have rated this bolster either 4 or 5 stars, and also have wonderful comments about it.
YogaAccessories also makes a round cotton bolster as well. These can be really nice for laying on your back in Savasana and placing under your knees.
Due to the “sitting” nature of society today, and how our muscles in our back and legs become short and tight, it bothers some people to just lay flat on their back. This can help your lower back (sacrum area) rest on the floor and create a more restful pose for you.
These come in a few different colors as well and once again, has a removable, machine washable cover.
93% of Amazon buyers have rated this round bolster either 4 or 5 stars.
I really hope this post has been helpful in deciding which bolster is right for you. If you have any questions or comments regarding bolsters or yoga poses, please let me know in the comments below!