7 Easy Yoga Bolster Poses To Try for Stress Relief (2023)

7 Easy Yoga Bolster Poses To Try for Stress Relief (2024)

Stressed spelled backward is desserts, but who needs all those extra calories?

I’ve got a better solution for you, and it doesn’t involve a single piece of chocolate or a tub of ice cream.

Get ready to roll out your yoga mats, grab your trusty bolsters, and show stress the exit door!

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a complete newbie, these seven bolster poses are your passport to stress-free living in 2023 and beyond. But before we head to the poses, let’s first dig deeper into the topic of ‘Yoga Bolsters’.

What is a Yoga Bolster?

What is a Yoga Bolster
What is a Yoga Bolster

Yoga bolsters are like big, squishy pillows, but they have a special job – they help you do yoga in a comfy way. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but the most common ones look like soft, rectangular cushions or long, fluffy rolls.

Now, why are they so awesome?

Well, when you’re doing yoga, you sometimes need a little extra support. It’s like having a friend hold your hand when you’re trying something new. You can use it to support your favorite yoga poses and bolsters are a common prop used in several yoga studios.

Benefits of Using Yoga Bolsters in Yoga Practice

Here’s the cool part – yoga bolsters make yoga even better!

How? Let’s break it down:

1. Easy Mode

You know when you’re trying to touch your toes, but it feels like your legs are made of rubber bands? Yoga bolsters can make it easier! They boost your body, making stretches and poses feel like a breeze.

2. No Strain, No Pain

Yoga should never be painful. Bolsters act like bodyguards, keeping you safe from any strain or discomfort. They are excellent companions for restorative poses, making sure you’re always comfortable.

3. Relaxation

Yoga poses with a bolster help you stay in the same position for longer without feeling tired. It’s like having your own little relaxation station.

Types of Yoga Bolsters Available

1. Rectangular Bolsters

These are like mini, firm mattresses. They’re super versatile and work great for most yoga poses like the pigeon pose and others.

2. Cylindrical Bolsters

Cylindrical bolsters are similar to long, squishy rolls. They’re perfect for gentle stretches and making backbends more comfy.

3. Pranayama Bolsters

These bolsters are smaller and a bit firmer. They’re like the zen masters of bolsters, designed for breathing exercises and peaceful meditation.

4. Travel Bolsters

Finally, these are like yoga bolsters on a vacation. They’re smaller and easy to carry around, making them perfect for yoga on the go.

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the ways to use a yoga bolster while you’re trying some poses!

7 Easy Yoga Bolster Poses To Try for Stress Relief (Seated, Resting & Many Other Poses)

7 Easy Yoga Bolster Poses To Try for Stress Relief
7 Easy Yoga Bolster Poses To Try for Stress Relief

Pose 1: Supported Child’s Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Start by placing your yoga bolster lengthwise on your mat.
  2. Kneel down, touching your big toes together and knees apart.
  3. Sit back on your heels and drape your body over the bolster.
  4. Extend your arms forward and let your forehead rest on the bolster.
  5. Close your eyes, take slow breaths, and relax.

Benefits and Variations:

This is a wonderful yoga bolster pose that provides a gentle stretch for your back, hips, and thighs. As you sink into this comforting posture, it’s not just your body that benefits; it’s your mind too.

Supported child’s pose has the magical ability to calm your racing thoughts, reduce stress, and gently ease away anxiety. It’s like a warm embrace for your entire being.

In addition, you can customize it to your comfort level – widen your knees for a deeper stretch, or add an extra layer of cushioning by placing a soft blanket under your knees for a cozier experience. This pose truly offers a peaceful escape from the chaos of everyday life.

Pose 2: Supported Bridge Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet hip-width apart.
  • Place the yoga bolster beneath your lower back, parallel to your spine.
  • Press into your feet and lift your hips off the ground.
  • Relax your arms by your sides with palms facing up.
  • Breathe deeply and hold the pose.

Benefits and Variations:

First and foremost, this pose is your lower back’s best friend, offering relief from tension and stress that may have accumulated throughout the day. But the benefits don’t stop there; this pose is also a great stretch for your chest, neck, and spine. It’s like a mini-vacation for your body!

And if you’re up for a challenge, you can spice things up by lifting one leg at a time, adding a playful twist.

Alternatively, for some extra comfort, you can place a bolster under your feet, providing extra support to help you relax even more deeply.

Pose 3: Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Place the yoga bolster behind you, perpendicular to your spine.
  3. Slowly lower your back onto the bolster.
  4. Bring the soles of your feet together and let your knees fall to the sides.
  5. Place your hands on your belly or out to the sides.
  6. Close your eyes, relax, and breathe deeply.

Benefits and Variations:

This pose has a unique way of easing stress as if it carries the worries of your day and gently releases them with every breath. And if you want to make this relaxation journey even cozier, you have options.

Placing blocks under your knees can provide extra support, allowing you to sink even deeper into tranquility. To top it off, a folded blanket under your head adds an extra layer of comfort, making Reclining Bound Angle Pose with a bolster a true sanctuary for your body and mind.

Pose 4: Legs Up the Wall Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Sit with your right side against a wall.
  2. Extend your legs up the wall and lie on your back.
  3. Scoot closer to the wall until your buttocks touch it.
  4. Place a bolster horizontally under your hips.
  5. Extend your arms out to the sides or rest them on your belly.
  6. Close your eyes, relax, and breathe deeply.

Benefits and Variations:

Not only does this pose release stress, but it also promotes better blood circulation, leaving you feeling refreshed and revitalized. And the fun doesn’t stop there; you can customize your experience.

Experiment with the angle of your legs to discover different sensations, each more soothing than the last. And for a little extra cushiony goodness, place a folded blanket under your head. It’s like wrapping yourself in a warm, stress-melting cocoon.

Pose 5: Sphinx Pose with Bolster

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Lie on your stomach with your legs extended.
  • Place the yoga bolster under your chest horizontally.
  • Rest your forearms on the floor with elbows under your shoulders.
  • Gently lift your upper body over the bolster, arching your back slightly.
  • Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and relax.

Benefits and Variations:

This pose is your go-to remedy for lower back stress and a spine-stretching sensation. It’s like a gentle, soothing massage for your torso and lower back, releasing built-up stress and tension.

But that’s not all – this pose is like a chest opener, creating a sense of spaciousness and emotional release.

To make it even more tailored to your needs, you can play with the height of your bolster. Adjusting it higher or lower offers you the choice of more or less intensity, ensuring that you find the perfect balance between comfort and stretch.

Pose 6: Savasana (Corpse Pose)

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Lie on your back with your legs straight and arms by your sides.
  • Place the yoga bolster under your knees.
  • Close your eyes, and relax your body completely.
  • Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly.

Benefits and Variations:

This resting pose becomes even more profound with the support of a yoga bolster. It promotes deep relaxation, like slipping into the most comfortable bed after a long day. Your mind clears, and mental clarity emerges like a calm lake on a peaceful morning.

And the beauty of it all? You have the power to customize your experience.

Adjust the height or placement of the bolster between your legs until you find that sweet spot of maximum comfort.

Pose 7: Supported Hero Pose

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  • Start by kneeling on your mat with your knees and feet together.
  • Place the yoga bolster vertically between your feet.
  • Sit back on the bolster, supporting your weight with your hands.
  • Gently lower your back onto the bolster.
  • Rest your arms by your sides or on your belly.
  • Close your eyes and focus on your breath.

Benefits and Variations:

This pose encourages relaxation and greater flexibility in your inner thighs, allowing you to breathe and stretch more freely. For those who want a little extra TLC, there are variations to explore.

For added support, you can start by placing your bolster under your buttocks or knees, making Supported Hero Pose an even cozier retreat for your lower body.

Ways to Use a Bolster Effectively: Ideal Setting, Size & Yoga Poses

It’s crucial to set the stage for success if you want to start your yoga journey with a bolster.


Find a quiet, clutter-free space that allows you to focus without distractions. Dim the lights or light some calming candles to create a serene atmosphere.

Choosing the right size and type

Consider your body size and the level of support you desire. Rectangular bolsters are versatile, while cylindrical ones are great for gentle stretches. Pranayama bolsters are perfect for breathwork and meditation, and travel bolsters are compact for yoga on the go. Make your picks wisely!

Warm-Up Stretches

Before diving into the poses, it’s essential to prepare your body with warm-up stretches. Think of it as stretching your muscles before a run. Warm-up stretches improve flexibility, prevent injury, and enhance the effectiveness of your practice. Gentle neck rolls, shoulder stretches, and hip circles are fantastic ways to prepare your body for bolster-supported restorative yoga classes.


Now, as you settle into each bolster pose, pay close attention to your breath.

Whether you choose to position it lengthwise between your legs for that perfect hip opener or you’re simply trying a wide angle seated forward bend, your bolster is like a sidekick, aiding you in perfecting yoga postures and providing relief for low back pain or knee discomfort.

As you lay back on your yoga mat, imagine it’s like a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of your day spent sitting at a desk, and your bolster is there to earn a small commission in relieving stress.

Use of Yoga Props

To make the most of your bolster practice, learn to use props effectively. They’re like yoga accessories that enhance your experience. Whether it’s using yoga blocks to modify a pose or adding a folded blanket for extra cushioning, props ensure that you’re comfortable and supported in every posture.

Final Thoughts

Starting a fun bolster yoga practice is like choosing your favorite toy to play with. First, make your space comfy and tidy, like creating a cozy fort. Then, do some simple warm-up moves, like dancing or stretching, to get your body ready for yoga adventures.

Now, meet your new yoga buddy, the bolster. It’s not just a pillow; it’s your yoga friend that helps you do cool poses. So, grab your bolster, strike a pose, and let’s go on a stress-free and super fun yoga journey, just like the paragraph suggests!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: How do I place the bolster lengthwise for a seated forward bend?

A: To perform a seated forward bend with a bolster, place the bolster lengthwise in front of you, parallel to your thighs. Sit with your legs extended and then fold forward over the bolster to stretch your hamstrings and spine gently.

Q: What are the benefits of using a yoga bolster in a restorative yoga practice?

A: Using a yoga bolster in restorative yoga poses provides support and comfort. It helps relax the lower back and provides cushioning for the spine.

Q: Can I use a bolster pillow in place of a yoga bolster for restorative yoga poses?

A: While a bolster pillow may work in some cases, a proper yoga bolster is designed to provide the ideal support and size for restorative yoga. It’s recommended to use a dedicated yoga bolster for the best experience.

Q: Can I use a yoga bolster in yin yoga?

A: Yes, yoga bolsters can be used in yin yoga to support and enhance various poses, such as the Supported Child’s Pose.

Q: Can I find yoga bolster classes at my local yoga studio?

A: Many yoga studios offer classes that incorporate yoga bolsters and props for a restorative and relaxing yoga session.

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