The asana Bālāsana or Child’s Pose, (also referred to as; Child’s Resting Pose), is usually practiced before or after Sirsasana, (headstand), but it can be employed intermittently throughout your yoga practice as a break or if you get out of breath. Child’s Pose serves as a resting pose which stretches ankles, thighs and hips and restores inner peace.
This is an ideal beginners yoga pose which reduces stress and fatigue, centres and calms the mind and relaxes and soothes the muscles on the front of the body while gently stretching the spine and shoulders.
Use this pose to consciously explore breathing techniques, as the lungs must expand into the back with the front of the body being compressed. Keep breaths long, slow and steady, experimenting with the depth of the breath and which part of the back is opened up by it.
The body faces the floor, knees and hips are bent so that the knees are touching the chest and the back is curved over the knees. Shins touch the floor. The head is extended towards the floor, often with the forehead touching the floor. Arms are relaxed and forearms either rest on the floor to the front of the head or rest on the floor towards the feet.
Do not practice this pose if you have suffered a recent knee injury and only practice a wide-legged version if you are pregnant.
- Start the pose on your hands and knees, knees apart but big toes together.
- Rest buttocks on your heels and sit tall, lengthening spine up through the crown.
- Centre your breath and slow your mind and thoughts right down.
- Turn your awareness inward, become aware of your breathing; long and slow.
- On an exhalation relax the body forward, resting your heart and chest on the knees.
- Allow your forehead to come to the floor and extend the arms in front, palms down.
- (Alternatively, bring your arms to rest alongside the torso, fingers pointing to feet, palms up.
- Soften and broaden the back and shoulders, allowing tension to melt.
- Breathe softly for up to a minute
- Release the pose by pushing gently back to seated position, (buttocks on heels), with your hands.