Bolster Magic - nurturing restorative sequence
Here’s a short sequence of lying over a bolster poses that can be a great pick me up at the end of a day, or a calming sequence before bedtime. If you take 5 minutes for each you will have done 30 minutes of fabulous restorative yoga! Enjoy!
Sitting over bolster
I love this pose because it keeps my spine upright effortlessly. If it doesn’t work for your knees you could sit cross legged on the bolster or just a blanket or two.
While you are here start Uji breathing. This is the breath when we constrict the back of the throat and make that gentle snoring sound, like the wind whispering through the trees on the inhale and the exhale. The constriction in the throat helps to lengthen both the phases of the breath and the sound helps to gently focus the mind inward.
Side lying over bolster
With your bolster to the left, long edge against your thigh, mermaid your legs out to the right and drape your side ribs over the bolster. Rest your head on your left arm and bring your right arm up and over to wherever is comfortable to lengthen through the right waist. You can intensify this by lengthening through the right leg.
I love this pose as I am very tight through the muscles around my waist, particularly on my right side. Don’t forget to do this pose on the other side. I do right, left and right again because of that tightness, so if you know you are also tight on one side feel free to do that side longer.
Supported bridge pose
Sit on your bolster with your feet on the floor and then carefully roll on to your back, keeping your sacrum on the bolster.
This is a supported back bend so it brings energy to the body and opens through the chest. A great tonic for reversing the forward computer slump posture! A s this is an inversion, you may want to skip it if you have your period.
This is my all-time favourite thing to do with a bolster. From kneeling, knees wide, bolster between the knees drape your belly over the bolster, turn the head to one side and have a few breaths on this side and then change to the other side. This supported forward fold is calming for the central nervous system and is particularly useful on those blah hormonal type days.
Bolster under the knees shavasana.
Remember that shavasana translates as corpse pose. It’s a letting go and surrendering. The bolster under the knees can help the back release more into the floor. Just let the breath do what it wants and stay with relaxed attention on the body and the breath as they soften.
When you have finished, bring your knees into your chest, roll on to one side, use your arms to support you to come back to a comfortable sitting.
Take a moment to acknowledge/be grateful for your practice.