Five relieving exercises with a Yoga Bolster
Just about everyone experiences back pain at some point. With some people, the pain disappears again quickly, while others are plagued by chronic back pain for years. A bolster can help relieve the pain because, when used correctly, it gently relieves pressure on the spine and promotes a better posture. In a slow, calm and restorative yoga practice, both physical pain and resulting mental tension can be reduced or even eliminated.
The bolster types in each of the following exercises can be substituted with your favourite bolster. In general, a rectangular bolster provides a wider, more comfortable and stable surface to lie on than a round bolster, but the round bolster allows you to stretch more intensely. Hold each of the following poses for a few minutes to fully recharge your batteries.
01 Variation Supta Baddha Konasana with Bolster/
Variation supported Butterfly
Sit on your yoga mat with your legs stretched out in front of you and place the bolster lengthwise behind you. Leave a hand's width of space between your buttocks and the bolster. Roll over onto the bolster until you are lying on it. Keep your buttocks on the mat and rest your forearms on the mat along the bolster. If it feels good for you and your lower back, vary your leg position by bending your knees, bringing the soles of your feet together and letting the knees fall out to the sides. In this pose, you create a lot of space in your chest and stretch your inner thighs.
02 Mastyendrasana with Bolster/
Lie on your mat and place a narrow Prana Bolster across your shoulder blades to gently stretch your body front. Place the bolster under your shoulder blades so that your neck remains free and place a yoga block under your head if needed.
03 Balasana with Bolster/
Supported child's pose
You start by kneeling on your mat with your heels under your buttocks. Open your knees a little and place your bolster lengthwise between your knees. Relax your upper body along the bolster and come into the child's pose. Turn your head to the side and change the direction of the head halfway through. Place your forearms on either side of the bolster along the mat to ground yourself. Alternatively, form a cushion with your hands and rest your forehead on it. Let the hips sink heavily towards the heels. If your hips need a little more support, place one or two folded blankets between your buttocks and heels. In this relaxing pose, the bolster helps to lengthen the lower back.
04 Viparita Karani with Bolster/
Supported Inversion Pose
Lie on your mat so that you can place your legs up the wall. Place a rectangular bolster under your sacrum to relieve pressure on your hip flexors and lower back. Place your heels up the wall and transfer your hips‘ weight to the bolster completely. Enjoy the gentle stretch of your back legs as you take the strain off your lower back.
05 Savasana with Bolster/
Supported Final Resting Pose
Place a square bolster under your knees in Savasana to relieve pressure on your lower back. In this pose the lower back remains flat on the floor and the thigh muscles are supported. Play with the positioning of your bolster and pull it closer to your lower thighs or calves.