Yoga Poses: Balasana (Child’s pose)


 

Child’s pose (Balasana or Shishuasana) a.k.a Child’s resting pose, is a great for relaxing after a series of inversions and back bends. It gets its name from the way a baby sleeps and is great both for mental as well as physical relaxation.Since, it one of the easiest and most relaxing poses of Restorative Yoga, it gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles. Balasana is a resting pose, usually performed before and after Sirsasana or the head stand.

Health Benefits

Child’s pose is helpful in relieving pain in neck, head and shoulders and symptoms of depression and stress. In short, it has a calming effect on our nervous system.

Additionally, it opens up hips and relaxes spine.

Getting into pose

 

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Initial Position: Seated – Kneel on your hands

Drishti or Gaze: While performing this pose, close your eyes and imagine a beautiful serene place.

Steps:

  1. Get into the initial position and take a deep breath.
  2. Bend down your hips and come to rest your chest on your knees. Keep your feet stretched out, with toes pointing out and soles facing up. Rest your forehead on the mat with chin in between the knees.
  3. Turn your head towards one side, and close your eyes. Gently, take your arms back in an attempt to hold your big toes.
  4. Stay in this position for 15-30 seconds, then turn your head towards the other side. Breathe normally.
  5. Follow it up with other advanced poses.

Other variations

  • Spread your knees half a feet apart if you don’t have a flat belly and find it difficult to breathe.
  • Spine extension version: Instead of reaching out to your big toes, stretch your arms forward dragging palms on the floor. Lift your hips a little bit and aim to stretch your arm pits, side abdomen, and lower back. You can either rest your head on forehead or turn it towards a side.

Beginner Tips

In the spine extension version, place a small cushion in between your thighs and calves to enhance stretching.

If you find it difficult to rest your head on the mat, place it a soft block or cushion to ease the process.

Advanced poses

  • All forward bends and inversion poses

Important Notes

  • The pose can be performed by anyone, but those with diarrhea and knee injuries should avoid it.
  • Although it a pose that mimics a sleeping baby, pregnant women should avoid it completely as it leads to excess stress on the uterus.

Further reading

  1. Restorative Yoga – Beginner’s Guide
  2. Yoga Lingo for Dummies

Last Updated: May 14, 2014

Next Scheduled Update: July 14, 2014

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