Child’s Pose or Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh) — is a common beginner’s yoga pose. It is often used as a resting position in between more difficult poses during a yoga practice. The word “Balasana” comes from the Sanskrit words “bala” (meaning “child”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”).
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
Do not practice Child’s Pose if you have a current or recent knee injury. Women who are pregnant should only practice a wide-legged variation of the pose — do not press the belly on top of the thighs. Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
How To Do The Balasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
1. Kneel down on the floor and touch your big toes to each other as you sit on your heels.
2. Once you are comfortable, spread your knees hip-width apart. Inhale.
3. Bend forward, and lay your torso between your thighs as you exhale.
4. Now, broaden the sacrum all across the back of the pelvis, and narrow the points of your hip such that they point towards the navel. Settle down on the inner thighs.
5. Stretch the tailbone away from the back of the pelvis as you lift the base of your head slightly away from the back of the neck.
6. Stretch your arms forward and place them in front of you, such that they are in line with your knees. Release the fronts of your shoulder to the floor. You must feel the weight of the front shoulders pulling the blades widely across your back.
7. Since this asana is a resting pose, you can stay in the pose from anywhere between 30 seconds to a few minutes.
8. To release the asana, first stretch the front torso. Then, breathe in and lift from the tailbone while it pushes down into the pelvis.
Use Child’s Pose throughout your practice whenever you need a break between poses or if you get out of breath. Return to the practice when you are ready.
Breathe consciously and fully into the back of your torso. Imagine your back is doming toward the ceiling, allowing the spine to lengthen and widen. With each exhalation, release your front torso a little deeper into the pose.
We usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. Then with each exhalation release the torso a little more deeply into the fold.
Modifications & Variations
Since Child’s Pose is a resting position, it’s important to make whatever modifications you need to feel comfortable, safe, and supported in the pose. Here are a few suggestions:
- If you have difficulty resting your buttocks on your heels, place a thickly folded blanket between the backs of your thighs and your calves.
- Spreading the knees wider apart can create a deeper stretch in the hips. Only spread your knees as wide as is comfortable for you — do not strain or force your body to extend deeper in this pose.
- Pad the tops of your feet with a blanket. You can also fold your mat for extra padding under your feet.
- Rest your forehead on a firm pillow, bolster, or stack of blankets. Alternatively, you can make fists and stack your hands, then rest your forehead on your stacked fists.
- Keeping your arms extended opens the shoulders and chest, but doing so makes the pose a bit more active. For a more restorative pose, rest your arms alongside your thighs.
Benefits Of Balasana (Child Pose)
- It helps release tension in the chest, back, and shoulders.
- This asana is highly recommended, especially if you have a bout of dizziness or fatigue during the day or during your workout.
- This asana helps to reduce stress and anxiety.
- It helps to massage and flex the internal organs in the body, keeping them active and supple.
- This asana helps to stretch and lengthen the spine.
- If this asana is done with support on the head and the torso, it relieves pain in the lower back and neck.
- It helps to stretch the ankles, hips, and thighs.
- It promotes blood circulation all throughout the body.
- The tendons, muscles, and ligaments in the knee area are thoroughly stretched.
- It encourages the right way of breathing and calms both the body and the mind.
Balasana is a resting pose that can preceed or follow any asana.
The Balasana is a basic yoga posture that brings out the child in you. While it completely stretches and relaxes your body, it also successfully makes you very happy.