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Exploring bolsters for Yoga

We all understand yoga offers unique benefits for our body. This blog is second in its series where we will be exploring various yoga postures and products such as bolsters which help perform those poses better. Our first blog on Surya Namaskar dived deeper into the benefits of one of the most popular workout of Yoga, Surya Namaskar. In this blog, we highlight the uses and benefits of a simple and convenient product like Bolster.

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Bolsters are essentially cushions that are usually either cylindrical or rectangular in shape, and they are often stuffed with thick cotton batting. Yoga bolsters are for every level of Yoga – from the beginner to the professional. It gives you support during your Yoga sessions, help you improve your form, flexibility, and strength – particularly in your core and back.

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Many of the common yoga accessories like the yoga bolster really weren’t used with great regularity until the 1960s. This is when some practitioners of yoga, like B.K.S. Iyengar noted that many students had trouble maintaining proper posture in certain poses because of things like injury or lack of flexibility. In order to encourage more accurate positioning, Iyengar and others developed equipment that would help people perform poses with greater comfort and better form. The yoga bolster comes out of this tradition of finding ways to compensate for imperfect form or physical limitations, and it may be used in a variety of poses to help extend stretch.

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Uses of Bolster in Yoga

Bolster can play a prominent role in many Yoga asanas, some of them are highlighted here:

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined bound angle pose) – Sit cross-legged on floor while bolster is placed directly behind the hips. Position a strap loosely around your waist, inside of the thighs and wrap it around the feet/angles. Tighten the strap until you feel comfortable supported. Recline until your back and head rest on the bolster. Rest the back of your hands alongside your torso on the floor. To gain 100% benefits from this pose, one should breathe deeply, feel the weight of your spine sinking in the bolster, and stay in this pose for atleast five minutes. Bolster plays a crucial role in this asana, by providing the support yet allowing you to gain benefits from the pose. The key benefit of this asana is to open the chest, create more room for lungs, and deepen the breathing, thereby strengthening your breathing system and functioning of lungs.

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Salamba Balasana or Supported Child pose – The supported child pose calms the mind and massages the whole body. It also helps in increasing the blood circulation. This pose helps you to relax your neck, shoulder and spine while it gently stretches the lower body, thighs, knees and ankles. Sit on your shins, knees spread wide around the bolster in front of you. Lay forward in child’s pose resting the body over the bolster. Make sure to have enough support under the belly.

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Viparita Karani or Legs up the wall pose- This pose is one of the most popular restorative poses in yoga and is done by raising one’s legs up the wall. This pose rejuvenates the feet, legs, spine and nervous system. While performing this asana, support your lower back with a firm round bolster. You will need to rest your legs vertically (or nearly so) on a wall. If your hamstrings or lower back are tight, bolsters are helpful to elevate the leg up the wall.

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Shavasana or Corpse Pose- The shavasana is one of the most important yoga asana which helps the body and mind to relax. Lie on your back, while the arms and legs are spread at 45 degrees. Take deep breaths, and close your eyes to take maximum benefits from the asana. A bolster is great for placing under your knees during shavasana, especially if you have pain in the lower back. Just bend your knees slightly and slide the bolster underneath before lying down on your back. Having the knees lifted allows the lower back to release.

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Benefits of using bolster in Yoga

Above uses of bolster in some of the popular yoga asanas illustrate the crucial part bolster plays in your daily yoga workout. Bolster fits well for reclined and seated poses, mostly the restorative poses in yoga.

Some of the benefits of bolster are:

1. A bolster provides support to the body and bolsters can help counteract bad posture, softly open up your chest, ribs and belly, improve blood flow to your key organs, encourage calmer breathing or reduce fatigue and stress in the body. Bottom line, your body will feel deeply supported when resting on a bolster, which in turn allows you to release, relax and rejuvenate.

2. It helps you perform asana without exerting any extra effort thereby allowing your body and mind to be relaxed.

Ultimate goal of yoga is to rejuvenate your body and mind thereby providing relaxation. Maximum benefits of yoga are gained while the body and mind are at peace and in relaxed positions. Bolster helps with just enough of relaxation to elevate the body from exertion and feel the eternal bliss both in mind as well as physically. 

How does Eco Samsara help?

Eco Samsara is an online store of unique products for yoga enthusiasts. It has been established by a Yoga expert understanding the need of such products to reap full benefits of yoga. We at Eco Samsara understand the value of a product like bolster. We sell the product online and also deliver at your doorstep. So now you need not hunt for the right bolster, but rather take it from the experts and enjoy the benefits of yoga at convenience of your home.

Buy now!

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