How to Use a Yoga Bolster in Your At Home Practice

What’s better than a pillow? One that can be used for yoga, of course.

Person practicing yoga
Sink deeper into restorative poses with a bolster.Pexels/Polina Tankilevitch

A bolster may seem like just an oversize pillow, but it can be incredibly useful in all parts of your yoga practice. The uniform weight throughout the bolster can allow you to play with balance, and at the end of a yoga session, the bolster can allow you to sink deeply into savasana. Here, some of the ways you can use a bolster to deepen your practice. And we won’t tell if you also use the bolster to squeeze in a nap, too.

Ajna Yoga Bolster Pillow for Meditation and Support - Rectangular Yoga Cushion - Yoga Accessories from Machine Washable with Carry Handle
Made of faux suede and recycled foam, this product won’t lose shape over time. Ergonomic design for easy transport.Ajna

Bolsters are often used for restorative yoga practices. Unlike active asanas, restorative practice generally gives you time to sink into a stretch as you quiet your body and mind. A bolster can be used wherever is comfortable, to relieve joint pressure and allow you to fully relax your muscles. You can place it under your shoulder blades and knees in a reclining pose, under your hips when you’re face down, or to elevate your hips in a seated position.

Gaiam Yoga Bolster Rectangular Meditation Pillow
A handle strap allows you to bring this cotton-batting stuffed option to and from class; machine washable cover.Gaiam

Bolsters can also be great tools to work on balance. Look online for inspiration to find streaming yoga classes with props for ideas. One idea: Use to work on core strength by lying stomach-down on the bolster for poses like cobra and bow. You may also find yourself playing with balance during standing poses. Standing on the bolster can make you work harder to find your balance and help you keep your focus during a yoga session.

Retrospec Sequoia Yoga Bolster, Includes Machine Washable Cotton Cover and Carry Handle; Round & Rectangular
Ready for meditation or asanas, product comes in multiple hues so you can choose the one that fits your decor.Retrospec

A bolster is key to a meditation practice—or to ease your back and hips if you’re sitting down to play trains with a toddler on the floor. But it can also do double duty as a pillow to provide spine support while watching TV or lounging in bed. Or you can use bolsters as seating pillows in a rec room, or for young kids in a playroom. In other words, use them for yoga practice—but then feel free to take them out and enjoy them in your “real” life too.

ADVERTISEMENT