Balasana (Child’s Pose)
Child’s Pose is a quintessential pose in a yoga class and is used mainly as a resting pose. This is a forward bending pose that can actually be practiced in an active way, or in a passive way, bringing slightly different benefits to the pose.
Stretches the ankles, feet, quads, and hips, as well as the entire back, shoulders, and neck. Because the head is resting below the heart in the pose, more blood flows into the brain, creating a calming and soothing effect on the mind.
When using Child’s Pose in a passive way, it gently relaxes the muscles of the front body, including the abdominals and chest. Your entire body is supported, your arms and shoulders are relaxed, and your hips are resting.
If using Balasana as an active pose, you can press your hands into the floor, lifting your elbows to energize the arms and back. You can increase the stretch in the hips by reaching your hips towards your heels.
Balasana is excellent for rejuvenating the central nervous system. The pose relaxes all the muscles surrounding the vertebrae of the spine, freeing up the nerves to communicate with the brain more effectively.
This pose can help you to breathe more deeply as well, by creating more relaxed space in the back in which to breathe into. Not to mention the fact that your eyes are closed, allowing you to truly feel what is happening in your body. This is a great pose to notice how steady your breath is, and also to notice where the breath goes naturally in the body. (The belly, the ribs, the back or the chest).
By placing the spine in a rounded and relaxed shape, and with the third eye pressing into the mat, the yogi can experience a deep grounding effect. The Third Eye is the 6th chakra (or energy center) in the body and governs your intuition and connection to your higher self.
This pose also massages the abdominal muscles and internal organs, especially the digestive system, and can stimulate elimination.
Child’s Pose can help you to feel protected, nurtured and secure, effectively creating a sanctuary in your own body.
People with recent or recurring injuries or issues in the knees or ankles may have trouble in this pose. Those with high or low blood pressure should exercise caution when practicing this pose. If possible, ensure that the stomach and bowels are empty for this pose, as you may experience discomfort.
Going into the Pose
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).