Balasana (Child Pose)
Balasana (Child Pose) is a Yoga pose in which your body faces your mat in a foetal crouch that is usually practised before and after Sirshasana (Headstand). This is a resting pose anyone can do either as a recovery or relaxation pose between poses, or simply as a way to rest and relax.
The calming effect of this pose even induces a great sense of physical, mental and emotional surrender. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words “bala” meaning “child” and “asana” meaning “pose”. The Child Pose literally reminds you of your time as an infant and revives in you rather vivid memories of lying in this position.
How to do the Child Pose
1. To start the pose, kneel on your mat. Now, squat and touch both big toes together then separate your knees hip width.
2. With a deep exhalation gently drop your head and body down on the mat between your thighs. Tighten your hip points toward your navel and stretch your sacrum across the back of your pelvis, so that they snuggle down onto your inner thighs. Raise the base of your skull away from your neck and elongate your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis.
3. Place your hands on the floor beside your thighs, palms facing upwards. Release the fronts of your shoulders down to the floor. Feel the weight of the front of your shoulders pull your shoulder blades wide across your back.
4. Child Pose is a resting pose. Feel free to retain it for 30 seconds to 1 or even 3 minutes. You can also use the pose for a taste of a deep forward bend in which your torso comes to rest on your thighs. To exit the pose, first stretch your front torso then inhale and rise from the tailbone, as it presses down and into your pelvis.
5. Remember, Balasana is a simple relaxation Yoga pose that can become quite active through breathing techniques. It will, once again, give you that taste of surrender involved in a forward bends as your attention is drawn withinward. A lot of practitioners use this between Yoga poses in class, at practice sessions, or whenever they need to take a break and relax until they are able to mobilize enough energy for what is to follow. It is excellent before and after hectic meetings.
Benefits of Balasana
- Gently stretches the spine, thighs, hips, and ankles
- Calms the brain and relieves symptoms of stress, tension and fatigue
- Helps relieve neck and back pain if do with torso and head supported
Child Pose Contraindications
- In case of knee injury, best avoid Balasana unless you are doing it under experienced supervision.