Rectangular, Lean or Round – Which Bolster is Right for You?

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Rectangular, Lean or Round – Which Bolster is Right for You?

How to Choose the Right Bolster

Yoga bolsters are dense pillows of varying sizes used to support parts of the body in different asanas. Like other yoga props, they help take the strain off the body as you ease from pose to pose. Used mainly in restorative yoga, these cushions provide not only comfort but support for the body to achieve the best circulation of blood flow. You may find yourself thinking, how do I know when do buy or recommend a rectangular vs round vs lean bolster?

Let's Break it Down!

Rectangular Bolsters:

  • Wider, which allows them to cover a majority, if not your entire back, while using them for support
  • Rectangular bolsters are a bit more secure since they are not going to move or roll while in use
  • Great for poses such as Supported Shoulder Stand, Front Line Twist and Supta Virasana
  • Used with blocks for Restorative poses to deepen relaxation

Lean Bolsters:

  • Provide a supportive seat in Easy Pose, as described above or sitting directly on top with the bolster lengthways
  • Large bolsters are often placed underneath the knees to support the lower back in savasana but lean bolsters support underneath the ankles as well as underneath the wrists
  • Explore using the lean bolster in supine chest-opening poses such as Bound Angle Pose along with hip-opening poses such as pigeon

Round Bolsters:

  • When trying to create a curve in the body, round bolsters give the best support
  • Encourage the natural arch in your body, helping to deepen your stretch for backbends and side bends
  • Great to use as a chest-opening tool, placing it directly up the spine and allowing your shoulders to hand off each side. Fish pose is the perfect heart-opener to try this technique with
  • During meditation, if the traditional body placement is uncomfortable to you, placing a bolster in between your legs in Hero’s Pose will allow for accurate circulation
  • Most recognize the round bolster as a prop for savasana, placed underneath the knees for increased comfort and blood flow

How do I know what Bolster is Right for Me?

Bolsters come in variety of shapes and sizes and it isn’t always easy to know which bolster is right for you. Start by:

  • Identifying what you want it for: is it for meditation? Restorative yoga?
  • Yoga bolsters generally come in three basic shapes: rectangular, lean and round. You’ll need to decide which is best for your particular needs
  • The final consideration is color and pattern - the fun part!



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