So you’re getting into your yoga practice and you quite fancy investing in a little bit of kit for at home. You’ve chosen your mat and maybe have a couple of blocks but quite fancy something to sit on for meditation or to use for restorative yoga. But do you choose a yoga bolster or a meditation cushion?
What is a yoga bolster?
A yoga bolster is most commonly a firm cylindrical cushion (although they can also be rectangular) filled with either buckwheat or a hollow fibre filling. These are used for restorative and yin yoga as well as meditation and general relaxation.
What can I use a yoga bolster for?
If you are looking for a hard working prop then yoga bolsters are so versatile as they can be used for both yoga and a meditation or sitting practice. Yoga bolsters can be used to make yoga more accessible, for restorative and yin yoga and are a great accompaniment to pregnancy yoga. The firm cylindrical shape is perfect for supporting the body in seated, reclined and supine positions and can be used to relax the body more as well as provide the support to make it work a little harder.
Extended Childs Pose
Perfect for finding your breath and bringing a stretch into the front of the chest, arms and back of the body.
1. Lay your bolster at one end of the mat
2. From hands and knees take your knees wide, bring the big toes to touch and press the bottom back towards the heels. If your feet are uncomfortable try rolling a blanket and placing under the ankles
3. With the feeling of the bottom still pressing towards the heels reach your arms forward and let the elbows come to rest onto the bolster
4. As the arms rest, reach into the fingertips and let the chest draw down as much as is comfortable .
For more ways to use a yoga bolster drop Yogipod a follow on Instagram or check out the posts below
What is a meditation cushion?
A meditation cushion, or zafu, is either crescent or circular in shape. These are commonly filled with buckwheat or a hollow fibre filling.
What can I use a meditation cushion for?
A meditation cushion is perfect if you are looking for a way to sit a little more comfortably for meditation. Most crescent shaped meditation cushions (like the Yogipod ones) are angled slightly to help tilt the pelvis into a slightly more comfortable position for sitting cross legged. This helps the spine be a little more upright and hopefully stop the hips feeling quite as tight. As they are smaller than bolsters and have a more targeted use they are not quite as versatile but are still a really valuable prop.
1. Find your way to a comfortable seat. A meditation cushion is perfect for tilting the hips but scatter cushions and blankets also work really well
2. Take a moment to let the body settle and begin to tune into your breath letting any background noise wash over you
3. Bring one hand to rest on your heart and one to rest onto your belly.
4. Becoming more aware of the physical breath try and breathe into the belly first, then the chest and then exhale out of the belly and then the chest, noticing the breath begin to slow and lengthen
5. Let yourself begin to settle into this rhythm and if the mind wanders guide it back to the breath
Yoga Bolster vs Meditation Cushion – Which should I choose?
Whether you are team yoga bolster or meditation cushion a buckwheat filling really does create the best firm yet moveable filling for you to really snuggle into. Trust me, once you’ve tried these kind of props for your practice you really won’t go back!
To decide which one to go for I would ask these questions:
- What am I most likely to use it for?
- Do I have a regular meditation practice?
- Am I looking to add meditation to my yoga practice?
- How much space do I have to store it?
What am I likely to use it for? If it is a mixture of yoga and meditation then definitely go for the more versatile yoga bolster. If it is purely for meditation then give a meditation cushion a go
Do I have a regular meditation practice? If you do then you’ll probably benefit from using a meditation cushion to keep that practice going.
Am I looking to add meditation to my yoga practice? If you currently don’t meditate or only occasionally then a yoga bolster is your best bet. It will give you a comfy place to sit for meditation but it will also be great for a slower restorative yoga practice.
How much space do I have to store it? Let’s be honest for a simple practice yoga can come with a lot of stuff. When it comes to storing a meditation cushion is smaller and easier to pop away. A yoga bolster though is also great on the bed or the sofa.
So which one are you going to go for?