It’s not always easy to make a choice when you want to buy a yoga & meditation bolster. Many of you wonder which bolster shape would be best, why all these fabric choices, or what the difference is between rectangular and circular bolsters. Obviously, if you could, you’d have them all, and you’d be in paradise! But reality probably tells you that it would be wiser to make a choice among all these options. Although everyone’s preference is personal, I’ll try to help you make your choice.

First, let’s divide our bolsters into two distinct shapes: the rectangular shape and the circular shape. In both cases, it’s the end of the cushion (the side) that determines this designation. Here are some advantages and specifications of each.

The circular bolster:

The circular bolster, with rounded ends, is the most traditional shape. It allows the body to be embraced with roundness. You can use it under the shoulder blades for the fish posture if you are very flexible in the back. It easily slides under the knees in the final shavasana posture. It is widely used in Yin yoga to stretch and support the body.

It is also commonly used in massage therapy, especially for those whose lying position creates stiffness in the lower back. It can be slipped under the knees when the patient is lying on their back.

The rectangular bolster:

The main advantage of its shape is that it has one wider side and one narrower side. You can therefore position it in the direction that suits you best. For example, you could place it on the wider side for the supported child’s pose, and place it on the narrower side and slide it between your legs in the supported hero pose. In the following photo, it is placed on the wider side for the hero pose.

If your need is to have less spread legs and higher hips, it can be the other way around.

Another advantage is that the rectangular bolster is stable, as it cannot roll by itself. So you can completely relax your body without having to maintain your balance, during your yin and restorative yoga postures for example. If you want to use your bolster for breastfeeding, the rectangular shape is best. Your baby will be more stable, and you’ll have two height options for better comfort.

Now, which size to choose, medium or large?

Our rectangular bolster comes in two sizes. The medium measures 21’’ x 9’’ x 5’’ (53 x 23 x 14 cm) and weighs approximately 7 pounds. The large bolster measures 26’’ x 10’’ x 6’’ (66 x 25 x 15 cm) and weighs approximately 10 pounds. The main difference is in length, but also in the height and width of the support it provides. Needs and preferences vary from person to person, but most will initially choose the large one, which allows, among other things, to comfortably rest on the bolster (on the back or stomach). Most will also prefer the large one to slide between the legs in the hero pose or to support the leg in a supine twist because its support is higher and requires less flexibility. Personally, I use the medium to support my arms in the supported butterfly pose (while lying on a large bolster), or to lift my hips slightly (not too much) in the shoulder stand pose or to slide under the buttock during pigeon pose.

If you want to place a bolster under your patient’s knees in massage therapy, the medium is sufficient for most people.

Did you know that our filling is buckwheat hulls?

This choice is one of the most malleable among all the common filling choices on the market. You can easily adjust the placement of the hulls in the cushion, and even add or reduce the quantity. Moreover, it’s a very eco-friendly choice; from a sustainable development perspective, this filling has the advantage of being recycled, renewable, durable, and compostable. Since the hull must be removed to make buckwheat flour, it is used rather than discarded. This is much more ecological than contributing to the overexploitation of planetary resources (cotton or kapok filling, for example, requires a lot of water) or using petroleum derivatives (such as synthetic filling). Furthermore, buckwheat hulls are the only filling originating from Quebec.

Don’t be surprised, this filling is a bit firmer and heavier than cotton, kapok, or polyester. Although this makes our bolsters less easy to transport, this weight becomes an ally as it offers very good stability to your bolster.

After a few months of use, the volume of the new cushion decreases by 5 to 10%. At this point, hulls can be added to restore the cushion’s volume. You cannot wash buckwheat hulls, but rest assured, buckwheat hulls are hypoallergenic, dust mite resistant, and antibacterial. You can, however, wash the removable cover, and if you wish, air the shells in the sun. After a few years, it’s good to replace the hulls with newer ones.

Making a choice among the many fabrics:

Fabrics are divided into two distinct families, natural fibers, and synthetic fibers. Here are the advantages of each:

Natural fabrics:

Most of our fabrics are made of natural fibers, such as linen and cotton. From a plant source (so our plant friends), fabrics made of natural fibers appeal to our eco-consciousness because they are not made with petroleum derivatives. Their touch is soft and supple, and their pure, ancient, noble appearance blends beautifully with the other natural materials in our interior (wood, ceramic, rattan, cork, etc.). Their use dates back thousands of years and is here to stay.

Synthetic fabrics:

In some cases, the intended use will require more water resistance or better stain protection. That’s why we also offer some synthetic canvases that are treated against stains. These fabrics are highly appreciated by schools, spas, or people who often practice outdoors. Also, dust adheres less to the surface than to natural fabrics. You’ll also love their appearance because their mottled aspect (2 or more mixed yarn shades) gives them a modern and chic look.

In conclusion, I hope this article has helped you better understand your preferences and make an informed choice based on your needs, tastes, and values. Feel free to comment or ask questions; I’ll be happy to answer them!

 

Marie-Jeanne Gauthier

Co-Founder & Designer