Child's Pose — Balasana (bah-LAHS-uh-nuh) — is a common beginner's yoga pose. It is often used as a resting position in between more difficult poses during a yoga practice. The word "Balasana" comes from the Sanskrit words "bala" (meaning "child") and "asana" (meaning "pose").
Child's Pose is a simple way to calm your mind, slow your breath, and restore a feeling of peace and safety. Practicing the pose before bedtime can help to release the worries of the day.
Regularly integrating Child's Pose into your practice will create serenity and overall well-being both on and off the mat.
Since Child's Pose is a resting position, it’s important to make whatever modifications you need to feel comfortable, safe, and supported in the pose. Here are a few suggestions:
Use Child's Pose throughout your practice whenever you need a break between poses or if you get out of breath. Return to the practice when you are ready.
Breathe consciously and fully into the back of your torso. Imagine your back is doming toward the ceiling, allowing the spine to lengthen and widen. With each exhalation, release your front torso a little deeper into the pose.
Child's Pose helps to stretch the hips, thighs, and ankles while reducing stress and fatigue. It gently relaxes the muscles on the front of the body while softly and passively stretching the muscles of the back torso.
This resting pose centers, calms, and soothes the brain, making it a therapeutic posture for relieving stress. When performed with the head and torso supported, it can also help relieve back and neck pain. Sometimes used as a counter-pose to backbends, Child's Pose restores balance and equanimity to the body.
Regular practice of Child's Pose also teaches conscious exploration of the breath. As the front of the bodyreleases onto the thighs, the frontal ribs and abdominal muscles become slightly compressed. This restriction allows for a deeper opening of the back of the torso as the lungs expand behind the body. As this happens, keeping the breath slow, long, and steady allows for a new awareness of the breath's path through the front and back of the body.
Do not practice Child's Pose if you have a current or recent knee injury. Women who are pregnant should only practice a wide-legged variation of the pose — do not press the belly on top of the thighs.
Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.