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 are yoga bolsters.
Yoga bolsters are fairly inexpensive and quite easy to use. In addition, they are available in many shapes and sizes. Oftentimes, matching-up perfectly to your specifications.
If you’re interested in using a yoga bolster, we’ll talk about what they are within this article. Furthermore, we’ll discuss some benefits of these versatile yoga tools.
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. Oftentimes, you’ll see these items being used in restorative style yoga.
What are the Benefits of Using Yoga Bolsters in Your Practice?
1. They Can Help Beginners
If new to yoga, there is a possibility of having difficulty with certain asanas. In some cases, you might not be flexible enough to do a certain pose or set of poses. Alternatively, your body may not have built-up the muscles to support you in these poses, just yet!
Bolsters mitigate some of 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, offering a lot more stabilization for the body.
2. They Create More Comfort and Support in the Body
Yoga bolsters also help 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 range of motion is limited, you can use a bolster.
Various areas of your body will be better supported with the use of this yoga tool. Thus, allowing tension relief from your muscles.
3. They Can Help Improve Posture
Some of us need help with alignment during yoga, especially if you’re learning yoga on your own. Specifically, you might not know if your body is fully aligned. Secondly, as we start aging, we can loose some balance and/or stability.
With a bolster, it may allow for your spine and other joints, more naturally, to sit into the correct position. Therefore, bolsters may be a way to reduce injuries, prevent pain and tension, before and after yoga practice.
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 yogi’s (both beginners and advanced) have it in there minds yoga bolsters are in some 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.
Contrarily, they can be used to help advance your practice more effectively and efficiently. In restorative yoga, poses can and will be held for long durations. Yoga bolsters makes this easier. Furthermore, allowing one to get more in touch with their body and mind, by minimizing discomfort.
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. Thus, 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 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. Above all, you’ll 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 a rectangular yoga bolster. This bolster is thick and quite large in comparison to others. They are great for certain asanas like bends and twists, but sometimes not 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 bolster, which offer nice support to the joints. Most often, they are not as firm as a rectangular bolster. A potential downside of rounded bolsters is sometimes there bulk.
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:
Factually, 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, 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. In addition, 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.
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 tool for your yoga sessions.
Be sure to research these well before buying. Furthermore, invest in one that suits your level of expertise, body size, yoga abilities, price range, and character.
Thanks for coming by, see you again soon!