Child's Pose, Balasana Yoga Pose
There are many poses in yoga asana practice which are done from a prone position (on your stomach). They promote flexibility and strengthen the back and arms for example, the cobra pose, half and full locust pose, Pigeon pose and upward-facing dog pose. Many of these poses also open the chest, stretch the abdominal muscles, and lengthen the hip flexors. The back bending positions such as the poses mentioned above massage and stimulate the kidneys.
Child Pose is also known as Balasana in Sanskrit. The word means:
Bala = child
Asana = pose
You will notice that children sometimes fall asleep in this position or curl themselves in this pose during sleep. It is a resting pose and is very good for reducing stress.
Did you know that the Child Pose was a counterpose for back bends
Benefits of Child Pose or Balasana
The child pose is a good counterpose for backbends and is a rejuvenating pose. Some of the benefits are:
- completely relaxes the back and neck
- stretches the spine
- massages the abdominal organs
- promotes a sense of security and nurturing
- stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
- relieves back and neck pain
- reduces headaches by increasing blood circulation to the head
This pose gives and opportunity to breathe consciously into the back of the torso relaxing it completely.
Child Pose or Balasana
How to do the Child Pose
There are a few steps to doing the Child Yoga Pose:
- kneel with your buttocks on or near your heels and with your legs slightly apart
- bend from the hips – forward and down
- fold your upper body onto your thighs.
- rest the forehead on the floor or on a folded blanket or towel
- place your arms on the floor next to your legs, palms up.
- et your shoulders round
- breathe deeply and relax
- with each inhalation imagine 'doming' the back and torso toward the ceiling lengthening and widening the spine.
- with each exhalation release the torso a little more deeply into the fold
- remain in this pose for 1-2 minutes
- raise your upper body and return to a kneeling position.
Variation: Child Pose or Balasana
Instead of placing your arms by your side you can also extend your arms on the floor in front of you, palms down, with elbows relaxed. This can help to lengthen the torso.
- lift your buttocks slightly away from your heels.
- reach the arms longer by walking your fingers away from you
- draw the shoulder blades down the back
- without moving the hands, sit the buttocks down on the heels again
- walk your fingers slowly to your right thereby stretching the left side
- walk your fingers back to the centre
- then walk your fingers to your left stretching the right side of the torso
- return to centre position
- remain in this position for 1-2 minutes
- raise your torso slowly stacking one vertebrae after another and sit upright.
Caution: Do not perform this if you are pregnant or have knee problems.
The Child Pose or Balasana is simple rejuvenating pose and can be done any time of the day, but on an empty stomach. If you have difficulty sitting on your knees, then place a blanket between your back thighs and calves. This pose can either precede or follow any asana. As mentioned earlier it is a good counterpose after performing backbends.
Resources for Further Practice
- Yoga Poses for Hips
The hips and buttocks bear the weight or the human body and determine its balance. It is important to strengthen and ensure good muscle tone for easy movement and flexibility in daily life. Learn about some of the yoga poses that can benefit the hip
- Yoga Poses for the Spine
The spine is like the trunk of a tree, supporting the entire body structure. Taking care of it and maintaining its strength and flexibility is of primary importance. Find out some of the yoga poses that you can incorporate into your yoga practice.
- How to Perform the Locust Pose in Yoga
The half locust and the full locust pose in yoga are both beneficial to strengthen the buttocks, legs and increase energy and circulation in the body. Learn how to perform both the variations.
- Yoga Breathing Exercises, Pranayama
Yoga breathing techniques or pranayama are an ancient yogic tradition and can be easily applied to our modern lifestyles. It has many physical and mental health benefits that will help you enrich the quality of your life.