Yoga Design Lab

A Bolster Enhanced Yoga Flow: Embrace Serenity

Mar 20, 2024

A Bolster Enhanced Yoga Flow: Embrace Serenity

Today, let's spend some quality time with the yoga bolster – that lovely companion that brings an extra touch of comfort to your practice. Join me on a serene journey where we explore the gentle support of bolsters, turning your mat into a sanctuary of calm.

Meditation Bliss

Place the bolster widthwise on the middle of your mat and take a seat on top of it. Your legs can be crossed or resting open to create more space for your body. Close your eyes, sit up tall, and bring your attention to your breath. Find a comfortable, steady rhythm, taking deep breaths in and long, slow breaths out. Inhale tranquility, exhale tension, and allow the gentle support from the bolster to deepen your connection within.

Seated Cat/Cow 

Inhale to Cow pose, letting the elbows bend and hugging them in towards the sides of the body, lean forward, broadening across the chest and lengthening the spine, Exhale to Cat pose, shifting your weight towards your tailbone, rounding your spine and tucking your chin to your chest. Repeat for a few cycles, following the rhythm of your breath.

Seated Twist

Sitting up tall, inhale and stretch your arms out to the sides. Exhale, twisting your torso to one side, letting your hands rest on your leg and on the bolster. Hold here for a few breaths then return to center. Inhale, stretching your arms out wide again. Exhale, twist to the opposite side, holding there for a few breaths before returning to center.

Supported Hero Pose with Options

Turn the bolster lengthwise on the middle of the mat and sit astride it with your knees, shins, and tops of your feet all resting on the ground. Place your hands in your lap or in the form of any mudra that you like.

You have the option to extend just one leg at a time for a hamstring stretch. After a few breaths, switch the position of the legs. From either position, you have the option to walk the hands out behind you and lean back as far as you're comfortable for a heart-opening experience.

Supported Pigeon Pose

Come to a tabletop position and move the bolster widthwise towards the front of the mat. Slide one knee forward, placing the shin in front of the bolster and somewhat parallel to the from edge of the mat, resting your thigh on top of the bolster. Extend the other leg straight behind and you point the toes toward the back of the mat Lift your chest, pressing your fingertips into the ground. Try to keep your hips and chest “square” towards the front of the mat. You have the option to fold forward as far as you’re comfortable, maybe placing your forearms down or resting your forehead on the mat. Continue breathing slowly and let your upper body melt into the stretch. - Shift your weight to the side to come out of the pose and then repeat, placing your opposite leg in front of the bolster.

Supported Wide Child's Pose

Come to a tabletop position. Bring your feet together and separate your knees. Sit back on your heels, placing the bolster lengthwise in front of you. Drape your body over the bolster so that your belly, heart and head are all supported. Turn your head to one side. After a few breaths, turn your head to the other side for an equal stretch in your neck.

Supported Reclined Bound Angle Pose

Sit on the center of your mat and place the bolster lengthwise behind you. Lie back against the bolster, so that your spine and head are supported. Bring the soles of your feet together, allowing your knees to fall outward. Place your hands on top of your hips or you can rest them out to the sides. Feel the release in your hips as you relax into this restorative pose. When done, bring the knees together and gently roll to one side to come out of the pose. Set the bolster to the side.

Supported Bridge Pose

Lie on your back with knees bent and feet planted on the mat, hip-distance apart. Pressing into the mat with your feet and upper back, lift your hips off the ground. Slide the bolster widthwise, underneath your pelvis and lower your hips down onto it for support. Rest your arms, with the palms on the ground, on either side of the hips. Enjoy the chest-opening sensation as you breathe deeply. From here you have the option to progress to “Supported Legs Up the Wall Pose“ or to come out of the pose, press your feet into the mat and lift your hips again. Using your hands, scoot the bolster down to rest under your knees and gently lower your back to the floor.

Supported Legs Up the Wall Pose

For a gentle inversion, you have the option to lift one leg off the floor while keeping the other foot planted on the mat. Straighten your lifted leg up towards the ceiling, keeping the foot flexed. After several breaths, return that foot to the floor and repeat with your other leg. You may also lift both legs at the same time, keeping your feet flexed, heels reaching towards the sky, creating a rejuvenating experience. To come out of the pose, bend the knees, press your feet into the mat and lift your hips again. Using your hands, scoot the bolster down to rest under your knees and gently lower your back to the floor.

Savasana Sanctuary

Lay on your back with the bolster resting under your knees, supporting the legs. You can place one or both hands over the belly or chest and focus on the feeling of your breath moving through your body. Close your eyes, continue that same slow, steady breathing. Inhaling deeply into the belly and as you exhale, allowing your muscles to soften, letting go of tension. Rest here for as long as you'd like.

Options: Dim the lights, diffuse calming essential oils or use a soothing room spray, grab an eye pillow and a cozy blanket. Allow yourself to drift away to the ultimate relaxation.

Your bolster is your secret weapon for a plush practice. Play with these poses, explore your options, and make this sequence your own. Enjoy every moment with your bolster there to support you!

Thank you & Namaste

By, Sara Freemyer

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