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How to Do Child’s Pose (Balasana)

How much do we love to hear the words ‘Take a moment in Child’s Pose’ mid yoga class? It’s lovely when this break is announced to the group, but it’s even better when you realise that it’s available to you any time at your own discretion. Deciding to take a Child’s Pose is a true power move, an expression of your commitment to your self-care, and a mark of an advanced yoga practice.

Balasana is a warm hug of a pose. Technique is not really the point here, but there are a few tips that will help make Child’s Pose as comfortable as possible. It’s not always a great fit for people with very tight hips, so we’ll offer a few alternatives too.

Benefits of Child’s Pose

Resting posture

Stretches the hips, thighs, shins, shoulders, and back

Instructions:

  1. Come to an all-fours position with the tops of your feet on the floor.
  1. Open your knees wide towards the edges of your mat while keeping your feet together.
  1. Sink your butt back toward your feet.
  1. Rest your forehead on the floor or turn your head to bring one cheek to your mat. After a few breaths, turn to the other cheek to keep things balanced.
  1. Reach your arms out in front of you to stretch the shoulders and upper back. If you’ve been doing a lot of work with your shoulders, it also feels nice to relax your arms back with your hands toward your feet.
  1. Stay for as many breaths as you need before coming back up to face new challenges.

Variations:

If Child’s Pose isn’t comfortable as described above, here are a few variations to try.

- If your low back is sensitive or your hips are tight, keep your knees together rather than taking them wide.

- You want to feel really relaxed in Child’s Pose, so if that isn’t possible for any reason at all, take an upright seated posture instead. Kneeling with your butt resting on your heels is a good option or a cross-legged position works as well.

Child’s Pose is a really nice place to do some gentle side stretching. Just walk your arms over to one side of your mat while keeping both hips resting equally on your heels. Stay for several breaths and then walk your arms over to the other side and do the same.

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