To someone that is just starting out on their yoga journey, the path is no doubt daunting.

Seemingly basic poses like downward dog, bridge pose, forward folds, etc. can be out of reach for most beginners due to a lack of flexibility and mobility.

This initial inertia discourages most beginners from committing to the practice and seeing tangible changes in their body & mind.

Fortunately, a simple prop, like a yoga bolster is just what you need to make these foundational asanas easy and accessible. 

Read on to know more.

Yoga bolsters are designed to support your spine, bring stability and allow you to be more mindful while practicing.

We've got a playbook of beginner-friendly yoga poses that you can modify by incorporating a bolster and feel a significant difference in your practice.

1. Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog: Using a bolster to rest your head on, can allow you to hold a downward facing dog for longer, improving flexibility of the hamstrings and allowing you enough time to explore how your body feels in this position.

Downward dog on kosha yoga co bolster


2. Matsyasana or Fish Pose: Using a yoga bolster beneath the middle of your back in a fish pose can greatly help you open up your chest and feel a deeper, more relaxing stretch. 

fish pose on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


3. Viparita Karani or Legs Up The Wall Pose: If you have tight hamstrings, simply use a bolster under your hips and allow your body to feel the complete benefits of the pose.

Leg raise on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


4. Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose: Everyone with limited flexibility in the hips knows just how intimidating the pigeon pose can be. But try using a bolster to support your hips to allow you to spend some time and get familiar with Kapotasana and within a few practices you're sure to feel more open in the hips.

pigeon pose hip opener on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


5. Savasana: Keep a bolster under your knees to during Savasana to experience maximum relaxation in the pose. The yoga bolster supports the knees, not requiring your legs to be stretched out, making this pose even more relaxing.

savasana on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


6. Setu Bandh Asana or Bridge Pose: Stiff backs often restrict foundational back bends like the bridge pose. Using a bolster under your lower back can help you gently open up your back, making back bends accessible over time.

bridge pose on kosha yoga co yoga bolster
7. Virasana or Hero Pose: Straddle your yoga bolster to make the Hero Pose more comfortable, especially if you’re going to be in the pose while meditating or practising pranayam.
hero pose on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


8. Seated Forward Fold: Forward folds are challenging for those with tight hamstrings, and adding a bolster to your practice, makes this foundational pose accessible to all. Allow the bolster to support your body's weight as you try and reach for the ground.

forward fold on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


9. Balasana or child's pose: Place the yoga bolster between your knees and gently rest your body on your bolster for maximum relaxation without and strain on your lower back or legs.

child's pose on kosha yoga co yoga bolster


As you can see, incorporating a yoga bolster in your practice is a great way to achieve poses that your body is not capable of doing by itself. The primary purpose of incorporating a bolster in your yoga practice is to be able to hold poses for a longer time.

So be sure to take your time while using a bolster, allow your body to get comfortable in the pose, take a few more breaths, and then allow your body to explore its limits safely, leaning on the bolster for gentle support.

In yoga, as with most things, slowing down, is often the fastest way to make progress!

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