Relax into this restorative pose, which is commonly used as a resting position during yoga sessions.
Child’s Pose (Balasana) Step-By-Step Guide
Start by kneeling on the mat and bring your big toes close to each other while leaving some distance between you knees.
If you want to go for a deeper stretch, keep your knees together.
Exhale and lower your upper body on the mat. Inhale and lower your bottom until it touches your ankles if you are keeping your knees together or your thighs if you are keeping them apart.
Lower your neck and bring your forehead on the mat. Place your hands on the floor in front of you.
Gently move your torso forward until your chest is touching your thighs and your forehead is touching the mat. Your arms should help you control the movements of your torso. But if you have good balance and flexibility, you can control your upper body without relying on your hands.
Bring your arm to the side, near your torso, to increase the sensation of relaxation and security. However, you can also keep your arms in front of you.
If you choose to keep your arms in front of you, the stretch will be a little bit deeper and your back will benefit from the stretch too.
Take deep breaths and hold the pose from 30 seconds to several minutes.
If you feel uncomfortable putting your forehead against the mat, use a pillow or a towel instead.
Child Pose Modifications
The Child pose is one of the pillars of Restorative Yoga as well as one of the most basic Yoga poses. Despite being targeted at beginners, there are some injuries or conditions that can prevent you from doing the classic child pose.
If you are suffering from stiff joints you can skip kneeling before you enter the child pose. You can use the hero pose or you can start by sitting cross-legged to reduce the pressure that would otherwise be put on your knees.
Also, it is important to keep in mind that your body changes throughout the day. This means that your body is more likely to be stiffer in the morning and more relaxed and mobile during the evening.
Therefore, you may see some positive changes in your performance if you dedicate your time to a Yoga practice in the evening.
Engage Your Torso
If you are looking to shift some of the weight away from your knees, you can do so by increasing the stretch of your torso.
Lift your bottom a bit while stretching your arms out in front of you. As you stretch your arms, keep your shoulder blades back.
Maintain the position of your arms and put the pressure on the bottom of both of your heels.
Use Your Hands to Protect Your Forehead
If your body is not ready to allow your forehead to touch the mat, do not try to force yourself to do so.
To fix this issue, bring your arms together under your forehead. As you slowly bring your forehead down, you can stand on your arms.
If you are still having problems reaching your arms, put a thickly folded towel beneath them.
Pillows, towels and cushions can be quite helpful when you want to support your limbs during stretches.
You can place a towel under your hands or use a pillow under your lower body to gain more support and increase your comfort.
Child’s Pose Benefits
The child’s pose is one of the most popular poses in Restorative Yoga. Its calming effects and gentle stretches can benefit almost anyone, including injured individuals.
One of the biggest benefits of the child’s pose is the calming effect on the mind, like many poses that fall under Restorative Yoga. But there are also more “obvious” benefits that involve flexibility, mobility, and digestion.
Helps Your Rest After a Strenuous Workout
We are often reminded that we should do more, but we are rarely told that our bodies have their limits too.
The child’s pose makes helps us rest without any guilt attached. It can be one of those moments of the day when we just want to stop doing everything that tires us.
After strenuous Yoga sessions, such as Power Yoga, the child’s pose can help us recover faster and rest while providing a gentle stretch.
Bringing your knees together and resting your belly area on your thighs is a great way to provide a gentle massage for your digestive system.
Paired with deep breaths, it can help you use your abdominal muscles to provide a deeper massage when you push your muscles and draw them back.
It Brings Back Pain Relief
A sedentary lifestyle and an incorrect posture can put a lot of pressure on your lower back.
When you have a strong core, you end up using your tailbone to support yourself. However, in most cases, you do not have the time to exercise your abdominals, which leads to time to pain due to all the pressure that is being put on your lower back.
During the child’s pose, you will stretch and give your back a well-deserved break while shifting some of the pressure on other muscle groups as well.
Maintains the Health of Your Hips
As we get older the areas we neglected in our youth become more and more obvious, and one of those areas that needs to be constantly taken care of is our hips.
Sitting on our chair for an extended time can produces some stiffness in the muscles around your hips, but the child’s pose fixes this issue by opening the hips through a gentle stretch.
The child’s pose can be used as a preventive method as well as a treatment method for hip pain.
Helps You Meditate
If you are a beginner and you find it hard to both focus on holding a demanding pose and keep your mind empty of negative thoughts, the child’s pose can help you out.
This pose slows down everything around you and allows you to rest between poses and maintain the pose for as long as you like.
The relaxing element makes it easier for you to bring yourself into a state of calm and peace and makes you work towards focusing on your breath and blocking everything around you.
Relieves Anxiety and Depression
The slower pace of the pose as well as the vulnerable position helps you let go of your fears and become vulnerable yet confident in the thought that nothing can harm you.
Perfect for beginners, this pose can be done at every stage in your Yoga practice, since it is not physically challenging.
When you place your arms forward, you open your body up to the possibility of being attacked. To consciously break down your mental walls, you need enough confidence and strength.
Crossing your arms or hiding your chest or face is meant to protect you from the outside. But opening your chest area helps you switch from a passive role to an active role, and it kills your insecurities
Helps with Low Blood Pressure
If you are getting dizzy when you walk out of your bed in the morning or your vision gets blurry when you stretch to reach the top shelf, low blood pressure might be to blame.
The child’s pose helps improve blood flow by stretching your body and engaging your core and back in a gentle manner.
Breathing Techniques for the Child’s Pose-Ujjayi Pranayama
For many yoga practitioners, the child’s pose comes with a certain degree of vulnerability, and it makes them surrender their eyes and breathing patterns on the mat.
Perhaps, the most important aspect of this pose is the confrontation with your breathing patterns, as the rib cage is compressed and your body becomes more aware of the breathing process.
While it is a very simple pose to hold, it does force us to focus on our breathing and brings our attention to the top of our lungs since the lower part of our belly is trapped and we are forced to use a different type of breathing, one that is soft and steady.
Ujjayi Pranayama the Ocean breath goes perfectly with this pose because it teaches you how to breathe through both of your nostrils, regulate your breath, and create a rubbing sensation on your throat that creates a sound.
By contracting the glottis, your breath will make a sound that resembles the waves of the ocean hitting the beach, hence the “Ocean Breath” name.
Paired with the child’s pose, this breathing techniques teaches your body to become more aware of its own breathing and control the oxygen getting inside your bodies. As a result, you avoid superficial breathing, which can lead to a poor cell oxygenation.
The child’s pose is not recommended for pregnant women or practitioners suffering from ankle problems, knee injuries, or high blood pressure.
If you are suffering from diarrhea, it is also recommended to skip holding this pose, as it stimulates the digestive system further.
Rich meals should be avoided before entering the child pose as well.
Did you benefit from this article? Did I miss anything? Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated – please post in the comments and I will personally respond!
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