Yoga using a bolster. I have been curious about what a bolster adds to yoga ever since I started doing yin yoga last year but I was never curious enough to buy one. I have been neglecting my Sunday yoga/flexibility/mobility since my shoulder surgery. It feels to me like your shoulders and arms are really necessary for yoga so I just haven’t been doing it. I also haven’t been doing my yin yoga for even longer. This brings me back to the bolster. I had to sleep in a recliner after my shoulder surgery due to pain and I tried all sorts of objects to make sleeping in bed less painful. A bolster to support my arm was one of them. It was not successful but now I own a bolster.
Now that I am moving my shoulder again, I decided I needed to revisit yoga using my new bolster. I plan to revisit yin yoga workouts that have already been reviewed here since most of them were excellent, but I also wanted to try new ones that use the bolster. Search for “bolster yoga” on YouTube and you get a lot of results. Most of them are restorative yoga. Restorative yoga is similar to yin yoga. In yin yoga you hold poses for long periods of time–usually a minute or more. However, in yin yoga there is a bit of discomfort since the point is stretching. Though there is stretching in restorative yoga there is never any discomfort since the point of this practice is relaxation. Restorative yoga relieves stress and nurtures the body. In the poses listed below, know that each pose is held at least a minute.
Btw–the good news is, I did a down dog! It felt so good–no shoulder pain!
10 Minute Restorative Yoga with a Bolster for Relaxation is 12 minutes. Equipment: a mat and a bolster. If you don’t have a bolster you can use a coach cushion.
- Child’s pose on bolster (body is laying on top of bolster with bolster between thighs)
- Down dog (not using the bolster but it is between hands)
- With legs in a sort of pretzel, hip on floor and bottom thigh against the short edge of the bolster and top leg bent back and away, torso lies on top of bolster and arms are on floor on either side of the bolster
- Repeat #3 on other side of body
- In butterfly pose, lay bolster on top of feet with the short end of the bolster against belly, lay head and chest on top of bolster
- Bridge pose with bolster underneath hips; extend legs straight; bring soles of feet together, knees bent and open; raise legs to ceiling and keep legs straight; bring legs forward toward face
- Corpse pose with bolster under knees