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Yoga is a great way to relieve stress and improve flexibility and focus. There are some indispensable things that you can use during practice, such as yoga bolsters. They are made to help you perform and achieve your best postures during your yoga session.
When used during execution of yoga poses, this accessory makes things a lot easier. There are different yoga bolsters available in the market today. But, before that, let us first discuss why you need yoga bolsters and its benefits.
What is a Yoga Bolster?
For those fellows who started to practice Yoga, Bolsters are used for support. It provides support when performing spinal stretches, restorative postures and meditative breathing. Once you got a good one, your bolster will be your partner towards achieving your goal.
Here is how you should use your yoga bolsters according to The Journey Junkie.
Savasana is a lying position with the back flat on the ground. It is similar to a sleeping position but in a fully conscious state aimed to achieve full relaxation. Using a yoga bolster can help you ease the pain on your back against the hard floor. It creates more room for the lower back, making it more relaxed as it rests on the ground.
- To use:
• Place the bolster directly below your knee and let your legs float freely
• Relax both your body and mind and let go of everything
• Stay in the position for about 5-10 minutes
2. Supported Backbend
This position allows your shoulders, chest and abdomen to relax while having support in your head, neck and back. It also releases tension on the back muscles. This is perfect for people who work long periods in front of the computer. The bolster also serves as support in this position, which aids your back and ease compression.
- To use:
•Place the bolster vertically aligned on your back and keep it closest to your body
•Slowly lean back to get the best posture and drape your hands on the side
•You can straighten your legs or in supta baddha konasana
•Stay in the position for 3-5 minutes
This is somewhat similar to the second posture but your body is forward folded. This posture aims to stretch your muscles to strengthen it. This also helps clear your distracted mind while giving your muscles some time to relax as well.
- To use:
•Place bolster between your thighs, closer to your stomach
•Stretch your legs and arms as if you are reaching for your toes
•Rest your chest and head on the bolster
•Close your eyes and stay in this position for 3-5 minutes
4. Upavistha Konasana
Other term for this position is Wide Seated Forward Bend. This is one of the most difficult postures in yoga practice, which stretches your thigh muscles and relieves tightness in the area. This also strengthens your legs and abdominal muscles. To help you relax, you can use bolsters to loosen involved muscles while doing this position.
- To use:
•Stretch both arms and legs as far away from your body but still within your tolerable level, make sure that you are not straining.
•Place bolster in front of your pubic bone, aligned vertically to your torso
•Relax head and chest to the bolster and make yourself comfortable
•Close your eyes and stay in this supported position for 3-5 minutes
5. Supported Sukhasana
Sukhasana is a sitting position on the floor with your legs crossed. While for some this might be easy, it is not for many. If you are sitting for a long time in your office chair without doing some micro exercises and stretching, this position will help you get the correct posture. And, to aid you in doing that, a yoga bolster will be handy.
- To use:
•Find a comfortable position for you while crossing your legs
•Rest knees on the ground and straighten your spine
•Keep hands together in front of you while keeping shoulders and chest relaxed
•Let go of your thoughts and stay still for 3-5 minutes in this position.
This asana is also known as Supported Camel Pose. As the name implies this position is similar a camel’s hump. It is a back bending position and it difficult during the first few tries. Using a yoga bolster to aid you can make things a little bit easier.
- To use:
•Lean bolster against the wall and place mat on the floor, have your knees supported while having something to rest on
•Bring in body closer to the bolster, enough to make your pubic bone touch the bolster
•Let your chest reach the sky while placing your hands on both heels
•Let your head relax back while breathing properly
•Stay for 5 inhalation and exhalation
7. Eka Pada Rajakapotasana
Others call this position as Supported King Pigeon. This posture aims to improve the posture and alignment of your back and hips. It may take some time to fully be at ease and comfortable while doing this yoga position, a good yoga bolster might make you feel at ease when doing this asana.
- To use:
•Lean the bolster vertically on the wall and place yoga mat to support your knees
•Pigeon position requires your one leg positioned at the back up on the bolster with both your hands reaching for your toes.
•Once comfortable, breath 5 times and slowly come out of the position and avoid sudden and rush movements that might cause you pain.
The Benefit of Using Yoga Bolsters
You might be thinking that bolsters do not offer that much help. Well, these benefits below might just prove you wrong.
1. Acts as a support
Yoga bolster will serve as support for various yoga postures. As you try to achieve difficult poses, bolsters will help ease the pain in contrary to not using it at all. With the help of a bolster this will lessen straining. Muscles are also not forced to reach certain poses.
2. Improves posture
With its aid, it will help you get you the best posture without letting you feel too much pain or discomfort. This is not only applicable for beginners but also to advance practitioners.
3. Stress Reliever
Being one of the predominantly used yoga accessory, the use of bolsters helps relieve stress on the muscles and stimulates the nervous system while doing restorative yoga.
4. Improve Blood Circulation
As an aid for your spine, this improves blood circulation in the area and below the chest and shoulder. As you stretch there is always a possibility for you to overstretch yourself, but with the aid of yoga bolsters, you can lessen the tension on these areas.
5. Reduce Chances of Swelling
In Yoga, you will be locked in a posture which your body might not be familiar with. And if you overexert yourself, there is a greater tendency of a certain part of your body to feel sore. But if you are using a yoga bolster while doing this, you can eliminate the chances of its occurrence.
6. Improves Metabolism
Just like the others, this benefit is not directly linked to the bolster itself. Instead, with the use of it in trying to achieve difficult poses, the fact that you have achieved it will help improve certain body functions such as your metabolism. And the use of it played a huge part of your journey.
Check out These Yoga Bolsters
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**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
Recommended by top yoga and pilates teachers, Zafuko’s Yoga bolster has been chosen by many.
This simple looking Bolster made of cotton is offering you an aid for your next yoga session.
Covered with cool patterns, this Bolster might just push you to your limits.
You might want to try this professional level yoga bolster that is hand sewn to help you do a variety of yoga positions and improve your flexibility, stability and breathing.
Now you can relieve the day’s stress and just immerse yourself and fully let go with this Yoga Bolster.
In choosing which Bolster is highly recommended, we look at the comfort level it offers, the materials used, its ease of transportation and movement and the overall feel it gives when doing yoga poses. And with these characteristics in mind, we deem Awaken Roundo and Zabuton Set as the champion for the best yoga bolster.
With regards to comfort, almost all products listed offer this. However, others are giving off the feeling it might get sloppy over time. Also, many complained about the firmness of the others which made them feel uncomfortable during long use.
However, the Awaken Roundo and Zabuton Set is not that handy. But, putting a little effort with the transportation might be just a little thing in comparison to the overall benefit you can get from this product. Although, this con might feel less of a burden for those who have vehicles but it might be the opposite for others who do not have an ease of transportation.
You may have a different pick on the best bolster and we respect that. Everybody has their own preferences and some might just want bolsters that are stiff while others prefer those with a softer and subtle feel. Whatever option best works for you that is what we believe the best choice for your practice. But, considering other factors, we suggest the Awaken Roundo and Zabuton Set a try and see if both you and our preference would match.
Also, different factors may affect our bolster options, such as budget, texture, filling of the bolster and organic or vegan. Overall, in choosing yoga bolster companion, always choose the one that can help you deliver your yoga poses effectively. The perfect Yoga bolster for you is the one that gives you the most comfort, flexibility and aid.