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Child's Pose, Balasana Yoga Pose

Updated on October 9, 2013
Child pose or balasana is the best way to relax in between yoga poses.
Child pose or balasana is the best way to relax in between yoga poses. | Source

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

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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.

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    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi mbwalz, glad to know the further benefits of the child pose and that it is helpful for you. Yoga is really helpful and I have always found it brought relief for my backache.

    • mbwalz profile image

      MaryBeth Walz 

      5 years ago from Maine

      This is one of the only poses that bring relief to me with my Elhers - Danlos Syndrome. While the warrior pose empowers, this one calms and comforts me, especially while I'm experiencing my cervicogenic headaches. Thanks for the additional info on this pose!

    • Sushma Webber profile imageAUTHOR

      Sushma Webber 

      5 years ago from New Zealand

      Hi Radcliff, yes you are right. The relaxing and rejuvenating poses are the best. I feel I can take on the world!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 

      5 years ago from Hudson, FL

      I love child's pose--of course, I love all of the poses that are super-relaxing! It feels so good after doing some backbends.

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