Pose of the Week: Balasana (Child's Pose)

Balasana (pronounced bah-LAHS-anna), also known commonly as Child’s Pose, has many benefits.  The pose gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles.  Balasana calms the mind and helps relieve stress and fatigue.  Child’s Pose provides a counter-stretch for backward bending postures, such as camel pose.  This pose massages, oxygenates and decongests abdominal organs.  Balasana also alleviates back and neck pain when done with a supported head and torso.

Balasana also helps improve deep breathing.  People usually don’t breathe consciously and fully into the back of the torso.  Child’s Pose provides an excellent opportunity to breathe more fully- by imagining that each inhalation is “doming” the back torso toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. With each exhalation release the torso a little more deeply into the fold.

While Child’s Pose has many health advantages, it should be avoided if one has recent or chronic injury or inflammation of the knees.  This pose should also be modified for pregnant women to accommodate a growing belly.

How to perform Child’s Pose:

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.  If accommodating a growing baby bump, spread legs even wider to allow room for one’s belly.

2.  Exhale and lay your torso down on or 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 tailbone 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 in front of your torso and stretch your fingers long, palms down, 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. Note: 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.

5.  To release from this pose, first lengthen the front torso, and then with an inhalation lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis.

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

For a complete listing of all the classes at Wilmington Yoga Center, please visit us at https://wilmingtonyogacenter.com/classes/yoga-class-schedule/.