Child pose or Balasana is a kneeling pose which provides an excellent resting position. It is practiced in almost every yoga class. It is a calming pose and helps in putting you in a deeply relaxing state.
Child pose steps, benefits and precautions
The name balasana is derived from two sanskrit words.
- ‘Bala’ means child
- ‘Asana’ refers to posture
It is also sometimes referred to as Garbhasana and Shashankasana. The name of the pose is because of its similarity to the shape of a baby. In the asana, your spine also curves naturally like a fetus.
How to do the child pose?
Here is a step by step guide on how to do the child pose or balasana.
First step for Child pose is get on your hands and knees on the yoga mat. You need to maintain a distance of about 1 feet between your knees. Now sit on your heels.
Some practitioners also practice this pose with knees together but I have found it to be much more useful when your knees are apart.
Slowly exhale and bring your forehead forward. Bend in the downward direction and lower your body so that your forehead touches the floor. Keep your arms on the sides of your body. At this point, your abdomen will be placed between your thighs.
For some yogis, it would be difficult to touch their foreheads to the floor in initial days of practice. They can use yoga blocks or yoga bolsters for their practice.
Gently try and press your chest between the thighs for a deeper stretch.
Try and relax your body and hold on to the pose for 40-60 seconds. Maintain your normal breathing pattern in this position.
To release the post, place your hands under your shoulders and raise your body. At the end of this step you will again be sitting on your heels with knees at a distance of about 1 feet.
You can repeat the above sequence a few times depending on your comfort.
Benefits of the child pose
- Child Pose is a gentle stretch for the back, hips, thighs, and ankles. It can help relieve back pain.
- It also helps in stretching your spine, ankles and legs. It releases tension from your body especially from the chest and shoulders.
- Since Balasana is a resting pose, it also helps in reducing anxiety amongst the practitioners.
- It can help in reducing nagging upper and lower back pain with regular practice.
- It improves overall blood circulation in the body and improves physical and mental well being.
- Child pose also helps in reducing fatigue and rejuvenates the body and mind.
Precautions and contraindications
- For people who are suffering from knee or ankle injuries, this asana should be avoided as it puts a lot of pressure on these parts and can lead to additional problems.
- In the initial stages, you should try and stretch only to the extent that there is no discomfort. To ensure that use of yoga accessories like yoga blocks or yoga bolsters can be done.
- You should not stretch your neck while practicing Balasana. It should always be in a neutral position.
- Pregnant women should avoid practicing this pose.