Child

Child

Child’s pose is a restful pose that can be sequenced between more challenging asanas. Sanskrit name: Balasana (pronouced: bah-LAHS-anna), bala = child.

Benefits
* Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles
* Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue
* Relieves back and neck pain when done with head and torso supported

Contraindications and cautions
* Diarrhea
* Pregnancy
* Knee injury: Avoid Balasana unless you have the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Step by step

1. Kneel on the floor. Touch your big toes together and sit on your heels, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips.

2. Exhale and lay your torso down between your thighs. Broaden your sacrum across the back of your pelvis and narrow your hip points toward the navel, so that they nestle down onto the inner thighs. Lengthen your tail bone away from the back of the pelvis while you lift the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.

3. Lay your hands on the floor alongside your torso, palms up, and release the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Feel how the weight of the front shoulders pulls the shoulder blades wide across your back.

4. Balasana is a resting pose. Stay anywhere from 30 seconds to a few minutes. Beginners can also use Balasana to get a taste of a deep forward bend, where the torso rests on the thighs. Stay in the pose from 1 to 3 minutes. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tail bone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

Modifications & props

If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a thickly folded blanket between your back thighs and calves.

Variation

To increase the length of the torso, stretch your arms forward. Lift your buttocks just slightly away from your heels. Reach the arms longer while you draw the shoulder blades down the back. Then without moving the hands, sit the buttocks down on the heels again.
Subsequent Poses

Beginners tip

We usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso. Balasana provides us with an excellent opportunity to do just that. Imagine that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. Then with each exhalation release the torso a little more deeply into the fold.

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Bassam Younes
Meditation

Bassam Younes is a certified holistic counselor, transformational coach, and speaker. He has been teaching meditation for seven years.

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