Yoga Bolster Love: The Ultimate Savasana

This entry was posted on Sep 8, 2021 by Charlotte Bell.

There’s nothing easier than lying down on the floor for Savasana, right? In many cases, the answer is yes. But in some ways, Savasana demands more of us than yoga’s more active asanas. Other asanas can create a fair amount of sensation, making it easy for our minds to focus on the moment. Savasana, on the other hand, with its relative comfort factor, requires a bit more of our minds. Unless, of course, it isn’t actually comfortable. Using a Yoga Bolster, along with a few other props, can turn a squirmy Savasana into a heavenly one.

When I’m leading my classes through Savasana, I always stay vigilant of my students’ comfort. Most of the time, most students look pretty blissful lying on the floor. Sometimes, though, I see students bending their knees and placing their feet on the floor or sliding their hands or a folded blanket under their lumbar spine. When I see this, I understand that the weight of their legs, and perhaps a tautness in their iliopsoas muscles, may be pulling their backs into a higher-than-usual arch. Most of the time, extra support under their knees—which allows their femur bones to settle back into the sockets, softening the psoas—will alleviate their discomfort.

For some, a simple, rolled-up Yoga Blanket is enough support under the knees. For others, a blanket doesn’t provide enough height. That’s when I suggest they use a Yoga Bolster. There are several ways to use a Yoga Bolster for leg support in Savasana. This post will detail what I consider to be the “Cadillac” of Savasana support.

I learned this setup from Judith Hanson Lasater in a Restorative Yoga teacher training some years ago. I like the fact that the thighs are completely supported in this position, and that the ankles are also supported. Dangling ankles and feet can recreate the same low back discomfort that a student might experience without using support.

Set Up the Ultimate Savasana with a Yoga Bolster

  1. Gather together your usual favorite Savasana props—Yoga Mat, Yoga Blankets and an Eye Pillow—along with a Standard Yoga Bolster, Yoga Block and Pranayama Yoga Bolster. (You can substitute a rolled-up blanket for this if you don’t have a Pranayama Bolster.)
  2. At the “foot” end of your Yoga Mat, place your Pranayama Pillow or rolled-up blanket.
  3. Place a Yoga Block, on its flat side, directly in front of your Pranayama Pillow.
  4. Lean a Standard Yoga Bolster against the block so that rests at a slant.
  5. Lie down in front of the Yoga Bolster and rest your legs over it. Make sure that the angle of the slant supports your entire thigh (as shown in the photo). You may need to adjust the slant to make it fit your own body.
  6. Rest your ankles on your Pranayama Pillow.
  7. Relax and enjoy.
About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.