Child’s pose is a calming resting pose often used as a counter pose to more difficult asanas in yoga. It is a great pose to include if you are tired or stressed, as it can help relax the body and quiet the mind.
Child’s pose can be held for as long as you like, and you can even use it as a transition between other poses. Some people like to stay in the posture for several minutes or use it as a “break” during more challenging poses in yoga practice.
|Sanskrit Name and Pronunciation:||Balasana (bah-LAH-sah-nah)|
|Pose Type:||Forward Bend, Restorative|
How to Do Child’s Pose
- Start in a tabletop position on a yoga mat. Keep your wrists under the shoulders and hands and knees hip-width apart.
- As you exhale, lower your hips toward your heels, bring your arms to the sides, and rest your forehead on the ground and chest on the thighs.
- Hold the pose for a few breaths, allowing yourself to sink into the ground and release any tension or stress. You can also focus on your breath and let go of any racing thoughts or worries.
- Push through your hands and lift your hips back up to a tabletop position.
You can also get a deeper stretch by practicing the extended child’s pose. This involves stretching your arms out in front of the body instead of at your sides. Hands can be palm-up or palm-down, depending on what feels most comfortable for you.
|Back and Shoulders:||Latissimus Dorsi, Trapezius, Rhomboids, Erector Spinae|
|Leg:||Adductors (Inner Thigh), Quadriceps, Hip Flexors|
Overall, Child’s pose is a wonderful pose to include in your yoga practice, as it can help to stretch and relax the body, while also calming the mind and reducing stress.
Reduces Certain Types of Chronic Pain
Child’s pose was one of the yoga asanas used in a study of women experiencing chronic pelvic pain that helped reduce the pain by as much as 34% in six weeks.
Improves Blood Pressure and Heart Rate
A 2017 study of health medical students found that practicing Child’s pose positively impacted blood pressure and heart rate.
Stretches the Hips, Thighs, and Ankles
Child’s pose can help to stretch and loosen the muscles in the hips, thighs, and ankles, which can improve flexibility and reduce muscle tension.
By stretching the back and shoulders muscles, Child’s pose can help improve posture and alignment.
This asana’s calming effects can also help reduce anxiety and promote well-being.
Child’s pose is a gentle pose that can be held for an extended time, making it a great pose to include in your practice if you are tired or fatigued.
Drawbacks and Risks
Child’s Pose is generally considered a safe and accessible yoga pose for people of all experience levels. However, as with any physical activity, there are certain risks and precautions to be aware of when practicing this pose. Some potential risks to consider include strain or injuries to:
Here are some common mistakes to avoid when practicing Child’s pose:
- Sitting on the Heels. This position can put too much pressure on the knees and ankles and may cause discomfort or pain. Instead, try sitting back on your heels with your toes touching.
- Back Rounding. It’s important to keep a long, neutral spine in Balasana. Rounding the back can put too much strain on the spine and may cause discomfort or pain. Instead, keep your chest lifted and your back elongated as you lower your upper body over your legs.
- Tucking the Chin. Keep your neck and head in a neutral position and avoid tucking your chin towards your chest to prevent neck pain.
- Excessive Stretching. Stretching too far can cause discomfort or pain and may lead to injury. Instead, try to find a comfortable stretch that feels good for your body, and avoid pushing yourself too far.
- Holding the Pose Too Long.
How to Modify
- Place a yoga block or blanket under your knees if you have tight hips or difficulty lowering your chest to the ground.
- If you have difficulty sitting back on your heels, try placing a block or blanket between your heels and buttocks to give you a bit of lift.