Just like other yoga props, bolsters are used to make yoga possible to practice for people from all walks of life – the elderly, individuals with injuries, and the less flexible ones. From helping yogis maintain a proper posture and breathe with ease, to releasing tension, a good yoga bolster is a versatile yoga prop that can be used in a number of ways.
Just visit a reliable yoga bolster online shop and you will realize they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Without further ado, here are the most important things to pay attention to when shopping for a bolster.
Consider the Size and Type
To find out what size of yoga bolster will suit you best use a measuring tape. Measure your torso length from the hip up to the collarbone – dimension you get is the dimension of the right bolster for you. If buying your yoga bolster online, check the product description to find out its exact size. As for the types, the most common ones are the following.
- Rectangular Bolsters – These are generally large and thick. They have a flat surface and steep edges that aren’t much comfortable in certain poses (Savasana, for example). However, rectangular bolsters are easy to stack onto each other to create more height when needed.
- Round Bolsters – Some yogis find cylindrical shaped bolsters to be more convenient and adaptable compared to rectangular ones. The round shape of the prop conforms to the body’s curves and it helps in expanding the chest. It is great for restorative poses as you can hug the bolster while resting on it.
- Junior Bolsters – A narrower and smaller version of both types mentioned above. These bolsters are the best choice for petite yogis and people with a shorter spine. Due to their compact size, junior bolsters are also lighter.
Keep an Eye on the Fabric and Filling
The fabric the bolster is made from and the filling used will determine the durability and density of the item. From durable canvas-like fabric and organic cotton to hemp and vinyl, yoga bolsters can be upholstered with a variety of fabrics. However, they all have their pros and cons. Hemp is a little more scratchy than organic cotton but it is stronger and more durable. Vinyl is easy to clean and doesn’t fade in the sun, but it is completely non-absorbent and can cause a sweaty feeling.
When it comes to filling, cotton is pretty firm and sturdy, but with use, it tends to soften and become less bulky. Recycled fiberfill is generally lightweight and softer than cotton, but this comfort comes with a higher price tag. Bolsters filled with buckwheat are malleable and mould to your body shape. Some of them are also adjustable, meaning you can add or remove the filling whenever you want. While these bolsters are convenient and organic, they can also be very heavy which means that they’re not that convenient to carry them with you.
Favor Easy to Clean Bolsters
Your yoga bolster will come in close contact with the floor and your skin and body (which can get pretty sweaty. Having that in mind, choosing a booster that is easy to clean and care for is important. Bolsters that come with a removable zippered cover make the cleaning process much easier. Hand washing or machine washing the cover in cold water is best to avoid colour fading and shrinkage. Let the cover to air dry and do not use the drier.
Bolsters without removable covers make the cleaning process a little more complicated. These models can either be spot cleaned with water and a small amount of laundry detergent or dry cleaned from time to time. While dry cleaning can be expensive, it is definitely more gentle and effective.