Looking back over the past few months I noticed lots of posts about vigorous yoga poses like handstand but not so many about restorative postures. These are just as important as the more demanding postures because they create balance in our practice. So today let’s take a look at balasana — child’s pose — which is a fantastic posture you can do any time you need a break, in the studio or out.
Four steps to do child’s pose
- Kneel on your mat with your legs and feet together. Sit on your heels.
- Separate your knees to hip-width apart.
- Stretch forward on the exhale laying your torso between your thighs and resting your forehead on the mat. Feel your tailbone lengthening away from the pelvis.
- Bring your arms back so they are resting alongside your thighs, palms facing upwards. Let gravity pull the front of your shoulders down, stretching your shoulder blades.
Four reasons to do child’s pose
- Stretch your back. Sitting and standing compress the spine. Child’s pose is a natural, gentle stretch that creates space in your spine, allowing it to rejuvenate and soothing any pain.
- Deep relaxation for your mind. Resting your forehead on the floor “closes” your third eye, which helps to calm your mind. Child’s pose is a great posture to do before and after meditation to silence mental chatter.
- Improves digestion. Child’s pose is a forward bend that massages the internal organs. You can increase the benefit by bringing your legs closer so there is more contact with your abdomen.
- Deepen your spiritual practice. When we spend a lot of time doing energetic practices like vinyasa flow or hot yoga it is easy to get goal-orientated, always trying to push deeper, or add a new posture. Balasana reminds us that yoga is a moving meditation, and we need to allow time for our mind and body to be still and absorb the benefits of the more active postures.