Discover Serenity with Child’s Pose

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Discover Serenity with Child's Pose
Discover Serenity with Child's Pose

Child’s Pose (Balasana) centers on creating a moment of rest where the body can be still. It is a foundational yoga posture that reminds us that inaction can be as valuable as action.

Child’s Pose isn’t entirely inactive if you take the version with your arms outstretched in front of you, which engages and stretches your back muscles as well as your shoulders and arms. Because Balasana involves compressing the body on the mat or floor, it can be challenging—physically and emotionally. There are multiple variations that can help different bodies relax into the pose.

Learning to surrender to the pose is an important part of the practice. “It is a very simple pose to begin with physically, yet it requires patience and the ability to surrender to gravity and a state of non-doing,” Peter Sterios, a yoga teacher and author of Gravity & Grace. “While it may not be a physically challenging posture, Balasana will help you cultivate the attitude necessary for deeper practice.”

Sanskrit

Balasana (bah-LAHS-anna)

Bala = child

Child’s Pose (Balasana) Basics

Pose type: Forward Fold

Target area: Full Body

Benefits: Child’s Pose can be calming and relaxing, helping to manage stress. This pose activates the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) and deactivates the stress response (sympathetic nervous system). This may help lower or regulate blood pressure.
Other Child’s Pose perks:
Stretches your back muscles, buttocks/gluteal muscles, front of your thighs/quadriceps, shins, and ankles.
For some, this pose may ease symptoms of headaches, migraines, and PMS.

How to do Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  • Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. (For more of a massage along the front of the body, keep your knees closer together.)
  • Exhale and fold forward; lay your torso down between your thighs. Narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Broaden across the back of your pelvis at the sacrum and lengthen your tailbone away from the back. Tuck your chin slightly to lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
  • Walk your hands out toward the front of your mat for the Extended Child’s pose. Or reach back toward your feet and rest your arms on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, releasing the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Allow the weight of the shoulders to pull the shoulder blades wide across your back.
  • Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes.
    To come up, first, lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

Beginner tips

  • Don’t be afraid to play with different iterations! You can spread your knees slightly wider or bring your arms alongside your legs, palms up. See what these modifications bring up for you and which version of the pose feels most connected to your body.
  • If you wish, instead of extending your arms on the floor, reach them back alongside your feet, palms facing up.
  • Don’t shy away from using blocks, blankets, or bolsters. Child’s Pose is meant to be restful and soothing. Whatever your best experience of the pose is, you should strive to create and lean into that posture.

Variations

Откройте для себя спокойствие с помощью детской позы
Discover Serenity with Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose with a bolster

Begin on your hands and knees. Place a bolster vertically between your inner thighs and slowly release down onto it. A rolled blanket or pillow placed between the backside of your thighs and calves may provide further support.

Bring your forehead or cheek to the bolster. If you rest a cheek on the bolster, be sure to flip to the opposite cheek after a few breaths to maintain an even stretch across both sides of your neck. If you have a longer torso, you may need to place a block under your forehead or cheek to keep your neck in line with your spine.

Take at least 8–10 deep breaths, or remain in the pose as long as you like.
Child’s Pose with a block.

Откройте для себя спокойствие с помощью детской позы
Discover Serenity with Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose with a block

Begin on your forearms and knees. Rest your forehead on a block or bolster for support. Your toes can be tucked under or released down to the floor. Take at least 8–10 deep breaths, or remain in the pose as long as you like.

Why we love Child’s Pose

Why We Love Child’s Pose delves into the personal experiences and insights of various practitioners and experts, highlighting the profound value of Child’s Pose (Balasana) in yoga. It discusses how the pose is often misunderstood as merely a resting posture for when students are fatigued, and shares the evolving perspectives on Child’s Pose as a moment of quiet, stillness, surrender, and profound strength.

Preparatory and counter poses

Balasana, also known as Child’s Pose, is a versatile yoga posture that can be incorporated into your practice either at the beginning of a session or towards the end. This adaptable pose does not demand an extensive warm-up, although it can be enhanced by gentle stretching of the hips and shoulders to facilitate relaxation.

Due to its neutral nature in terms of spinal extension, Child’s Pose can be seamlessly integrated into yoga sequences at various points. It serves not only as a resting pose but also as an effective counterpose, particularly following backbend sequences. This flexibility in placement allows yoga instructors and practitioners to utilize Child’s Pose strategically based on the flow and intent of their practice.

Anatomy

Balasana, commonly referred to as Child’s Pose, is a restorative yoga posture designed to induce a state of relaxation. It offers a gentle release of tension in the muscles along the front of the body while facilitating a passive stretch in the muscles of the back. Although some practitioners may experience a mild stretching sensation in specific muscles and joints, it’s crucial to emphasize that the stretch should be approached with a passive and non-forceful mindset.

In the accompanying illustrations, the stretched muscles are highlighted in pink to help you better understand the areas affected by this posture.

Откройте для себя спокойствие с помощью детской позы
Discover Serenity with Child’s Pose

In this pose, ease is brought into all muscles in the body. On the upper back, this includes the rhomboids, connecting the spine and the shoulder blades, as well as the middle trapezius, which spans the back, and the posterior deltoids (at the back of the shoulders).

Откройте для себя спокойствие с помощью детской позы
Discover Serenity with Child’s Pose

Common Mistakes

Balasana, while considered a restful yoga pose, still demands attention to proper form. It’s crucial to ensure that your forehead makes contact with the ground. If flexibility is a barrier, and you are unable to place your forehead on the ground while keeping your sit bones resting on your heels, a simple solution is to position a folded blanket under your buttocks to bridge the gap.

Given that this posture may slightly compress the stomach, it is advisable to practice it at least an hour after having a meal. Additionally, it’s easy to overlook the importance of deep and mindful breathing during Child’s Pose. Hence, it’s essential to maintain a focus on your breath.

A neutral neck position should be maintained throughout the pose. If you notice any neck strain or discomfort, consider using a pillow, yoga block, or another prop to alleviate pressure on the neck. This attention to detail will help you fully enjoy the benefits of Balasana.

Safety and Precautions

Refrain from practicing Child’s Pose if you are dealing with a knee injury. For expectant individuals, it is advisable to widen the leg stance and avoid pressing the stomach onto the thighs. In case of a shoulder injury, keeping your arms positioned by your sides offers the best support and comfort.

Always be attuned to your body during the pose, and if you experience any discomfort or pain, gently transition out of the posture. Prioritizing safety and alignment is key when practicing yoga.

What is the child’s pose good for?

Stress management. The child’s pose helps to stretch your back and muscles around your hips. In this pose, kneel and sit on your knees. Lean forward, keeping your buttocks on your heels, and rest your forehead on the floor.

Is a child’s pose bad for the lower back?

The child’s pose is a great move for anyone who’s looking to increase their flexibility or relieve muscle tension in the lower back.

How long should you hold the child’s pose?

Lay your arms flat alongside your torso, with your palms facing upward. Relax your arms and shoulders, allowing the fronts of your shoulders to pull toward the floor. Their weight should stretch your shoulder blades across your back. Hold right there for 30 to 60 seconds, being sure to inhale and exhale deeply.

Who should not do child pose yoga?

Don’t perform a child’s pose if you have injuries to your back, shoulders, or knees. If you have a shoulder injury, such as a rotator cuff injury, adjust your arm position using one of the methods above.

Соnclusion

In conclusion, Child’s Pose is a deeply restful and meditative yoga posture that encourages relaxation and serenity. By practicing this pose with proper form and mindfulness, you can find a sense of calm and rejuvenation in your yoga practice.

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