The Heart Bolster

From the base of the skull to the tailbone, this technique is used to relieve symptoms from muscular imbalance. An analogy: When the pelvis, “the foundation”, does not provide a horizontal platform for the torso, “the house”, to sit upon, gravitational forces will cause body/house to “settle” or adapt with subsequent cracked floors, bulging walls and a leaky roof. In an architecturally unsound body all systems are effected with the resultant “functional adaptation to structural stress”.  Materials:  bath towel or wool blanket and a neck support (a wooden block, towel, or two tennis balls in a sock). Instructions:  

Part 1:  

  1. Fold towel lengthwise
  2. Fold towel length in half
  3. Roll length of towel into very tight, smooth, neat roll (bolster)  [A "swimming noodle" will also serve the purpose if available!]
  4. Position bolster perpendicular to spine; the area just below shoulder blades making contact  
  5. Adjust position of bolster 1-2 inches up or down the spine to make it most comfortable (depending on tension levels, bolster may not feel comfortable and can be unrolled and made a bit thinner)  
  6. If neck is hyper-extended, place a neck support under head to keep cervical vertebrae in line with spine  
  7. Bring ankles together, point toes to sky while pushing out heels.  
  8. Bring palms together, raise arms to sky, lower arms behind/above head, level with ears and parallel to floor.  
  9. Deep breath, relax feet, exhale, sweep arms perpendicular to torso in cross-posture.  
  10. Inhale, expanding sides of ribs, causing back of ribs to expand into bolster and raising breath up to collar bones.  
  11. Repeat this style of breathing, for 2-3 to 10-12 minutes, depending on tension level.  Over enthusiasm can spasm a very tight back... go gradually.

Part 2:  

  1. Bend kness, soles of feet to floor, remove neck support, slowly raise hips high off floor, slide bolster under sacrum, release legs to floor, spread arms to side, breathe to expand pelvic region and sacrum into bolster.  
  2. No sharp pain should be felt in lower back.  If pain is felt, scoot bolster lower down toward tail bone, or even lower buttocks.  
  3. Follow timing for upper body.  
  4. To end, place soles of feet on floor, lift pelvis, slide bolster out, roll down onto floor one vertebrae at a time from neck to sacrum, relax, roll over and stand, enjoying your evolving body.  


The weight of body lying still over bolster allows muscles to soften; the breath stretches torso from inside out.  Performed daily, the Heart Bolster will transform muscular imbalance.  This info not intended to replace guidance of a licensed physician.