Using a Vinyl Bolster for Hot Yoga
Are you skeptical about vinyl covered yoga and meditation props? Yes? Don’t worry, so was I.
When I first heard the words ‘vinyl props’ my mind instantly went to that feeling of peeling your sticky legs off a leather car seat in summer. To me that did not ignite any feelings of calm, rest, comfort or support.
I had little interest in using a vinyl cover on my Long & Lean Yoga Bolster, that is, until I discovered hot yoga.
My Journey to Hot Yoga
In March 2022 I started practicing hot yoga for the first time at my local Modo studio. I instantly became obsessed with the heated environment, the atmosphere, the sense of community and belonging; I went to five classes that first week!
As much as I loved this new studio and routine for my practice, I started to miss having the restorative comfort of my bolster which allows me to sink more deeply into postures. The thing I was missing most significantly is using my bolster to help with pinching and pain. I have intermittent sciatica pain that tenses up when fully extended in Savasana, and I have found that my body really benefits from having a bolster under my thighs and knees to neutralize my spine.
You can use yoga blocks in place of a bolster, but blocks aren't as comfortable and prevent my mind from surrendering. After about a dozen classes of this irritating discomfort I decided that I would just bring my bolster to class with me from then on.
The only problem was the sweat. The amount of sweat that drips off my body during some of those heated classes is unimaginable. My sweat drips down and off my body, falling to my mat like raindrops and I leave with my clothes completely wet through. I quickly realized that bringing my bolster with its cotton cover wouldn’t be an option. Firstly, because I wouldn’t have enough time to wash the cover in between every class, and secondly, because I know that my sweat would be going right through that cover anyways and seeping right into the inner cotton core which can’t be cleaned.
So, still with great suspicion, I brought home a Long & Lean Vinyl Bolster cover specifically to take to hot yoga classes. And you know what, its amazing! My aversion to vinyl completely dissolved after using it in that first class, and I haven't been back to a class since without a vinyl bolster.
Let’s be honest, if you are comfortable with the feeling of sweat covering your entire body in a hot yoga class, you aren’t going to be bothered by the feeling or texture of vinyl against your skin.
In my Opinion, Here are the Main Benefits of a Vinyl Yoga Bolster Cover ...
- It holds up to the sweaty heated environment
- I never have to actually wash it in a washing machine, so it saves a lot of time, effort, and water!
- I love that I never have to even bother taking the cover off in the first place, and wrestle it back on later
- It provides me the comfort of my home practice but in the studio space
- I don’t worry about germs and bacteria because I can disinfect it with a yoga prop cleaner
So, if you can't throw the vinyl cover in the washing machine, you might be wondering how to properly clean/disinfect it or what to use. Let me share with you some tips I have learned...
How Do I Clean and Care For My Vinyl Bolster?
After every hot yoga class ...
- I quickly wipe down my bolster with my sweat towel before I leave the studio
- Then I give it a good spray with prop cleaner and let it air dry before putting it back in my bag. Sometimes if I am really in a rush to head out, I wipe the bolster down after spraying with a clean towel
About once per week at home ...
- With a cloth and some warm water (or soapy warm water, I sometimes like to use a little bit of unscented castile soap in my water) I give my bolster a good scrub down, getting into all the sides and corners
- Then I give it a good spray with prop cleaner and let it air dry before putting it away until the next class
I prefer to clean my bolster as naturally as possible, so I try to use natural soaps and Love My Mat's Yoga Prop Cleaner because it is made with plant based ingredients. However, if you would still like to give your vinyl bolster an even deeper clean, I have wiped mine down using a Lysol wipe with no issues.
Rest Is Best, Heated or Not
I like having my bolster in class because I know its there if and whenever I want to use it. In some classes I only use it at the beginning and end of class while resting in Savasana, or I sit on it in meditation. On other days I use my bolster in different ways throughout the entire class to support spinal twists, gentle backbends, or to generally bring the ground up to meet my body.
Vinyl props are a great way to support your body, in whatever environment you choose to practice in.
Check out the Wipeable Vinyl Props section of our website to see what options we have in stock for you! I prefer a very neutral and minimal aesthetic, so my current favourite vinyl Long & Lean Bolster options on our site are the Coal Vinyl Bolster, and the Cloud Vinyl Bolster (the Cloud vinyl is so incredibly soft). If you already have a Long & Lean Bolster and you just want to grab yourself a vinyl cover for certain classes, we got you, just shop our Vinyl Covers for Long & Lean Bolsters section and let us know in the notes during checkout what cover you would like!
Sending you love and positivity,