Yoga, the word rings a bell within us when we think of well-being and peace. Every person who is aware of the existence of a practice called ‘Yoga’ would surely want to try to learn the discipline once, given the assurance of benefits. If yoga is tempting, yoga with all the supporting props that facilitate you to fall free in the arms of cushiony comfort is even more magnetic!
For Yoga props - There is an array of options that are sure to pull you more towards it- like yoga blocks, belts, cushions, mats, suits, gloves, socks, bolsters and much more. Bolsters are the most inviting; they come in rectangular, square and round shapes to buy your trust in letting yourself go and getting yourself indulged. Here are a few areas where a yoga bolster is most essential.
For Beginners – Will yoga suit my physique? Am I too heavy to start with yoga? What happens, if I am not able to pull myself up with the pose? Will I look funny trying to achieve a pose? For a beginner, apprehensions fill the air.
People who aspire to learn yoga and have been postponing to get started are definite to change their minds if they are educated of the availability of supportive yoga props. Props like belt and bolsters are companions that help you in getting rid of your reluctance during your acquaintance with the yoga asanas. Bolsters could be used in almost all asanas, tailored to your convenience; until you get the hang of it.
In Yin and Yang Poses – Yin poses are soft postures that target your joints, internal tissues and ligaments. Yin yoga requires a stretch to be carried out for quite a long while; some poses may take up to 15 minutes holding in the same position, especially ones that require sitting. In Sukhasana, for example, you will have to remain in a cross-legged seated position, for a considerable amount of time. Other sitting asanas also have a basic requirement of sitting cross-legged throughout the practice.
Yang yoga on the other hand directly targets muscles and consists of more standing postures. In both the cases bolster comes handy. Bolsters here, could be used to make your task easy, while the asana demands more time to remain in the same position. Bolsters can be propped up below your thighs or below your lower back in adjustment with an asana.
Prenatal and Postnatal – Pregnancy is the period where utmost caution is exercised. There are specific yoga asanas for three trimesters and throughout the nine-month adventure, bolsters become your BFF! Aware of a tiny life being nurtured within you, you would make sure that you don’t stretch, bend or twist ‘too much’; Bolsters take care of the ‘too much’ part and let you relax and rejoice in your asana.
Equal care is taken after delivery where your body has had a re-birth. Bolsters understand your fragility. Put them on the back of your hips/tailbone for an extended meditation or a Nadi Shuddhi Pranayama; put them beside for a side hug, behind your back for fish-pose or place them below your legs for enhancing the experience of your Savasana!
In Restorative Yoga- Yoga is a rejuvenation; yoga is rehabilitation, yoga is recreation; above all yoga is a remedy. The biggest challenge in today’s world is to live without illness as lifestyle diseases chase you and sometimes succeed in catching up with you, taking away mental peace and physical fitness. Springing back to normalcy with yoga therapy in no time is magical. After effects of getting sick could be seen less as a hurdle with bolsters. They can see through your weak knees, joints and heart; pampers your senses while you can give yourself into the universe.
Some suggested poses for Bolster use –
Balasana (Child Pose): Kneel down and sit on your legs. Keep your toes together and separate your knees as far as your hip allows you to. Stretch your hand before you and lower your torso so that your shoulder blades hit the floor. Here instead of going down with the floor, you can place your bolster in front of you and hug it, resting your side face.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose): Lie on your back with your knees bent and foot touching the floor. Slowly raise your hips up and place your hands below them; bring your hips back down to rest on your hands. Support with your hands and lift your torso, bend it backward to see the back of your head touching the floor. Do not move your hips. Bolsters could here be used to support your torso, instead of your hands. Hands are laid to rest beside you.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose): Lie on your back with your knees bent and foot touching the floor. With the support of your hands and foot, raise your torso and lower body in reverse inclination with your head and foot still holding ground. Yoga bolster could be placed behind your torso sharing the stress with your head and hands.
Gift a bolster, gift love!