Chair Pose
March 31, 2015
Compass Pose
March 31, 2015

Child’s Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

,

Sanskrit

Balasana
(bah-LAHS-anna)
bala = child

BENEFITS

  • Releases tension in the low back, shoulders, and neck
  • Lengthens and stretches the spine
  • Calms the central nervous system
  • Stretches the hips, knees, thighs, and ankles
  • Increases blood circulation
  • Gently massages the internal organs

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Knee injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Low blood pressure
  • Ear or eye infections
  • Ankle injuries

HOW TO

  1. Kneel down and let the tops of your feet rest on the floor. Touch your big toes together. Then lower your hips back and sit on your heels.
  2. Join your knees together or separate them hip-distance apart.
  3. Hinge at the hips and slowly fold forward. Rest the torso over your thighs if the knees are joined; and between your thighs if the knees are wide.
  4. Extend your arms in front of you and place the palms down on the mat. Or extend the arms behind you, alongside your torso, with palms facing up.
  5. Release your shoulders toward the ground and rest your forehead (third eye) on the mat in front of your knees.
  6. Keep your hands and arms engaged in Child’s pose. Reach forward or backward depending on your hand placement.
  7. Stay in this pose for 5-10 breaths. Press through the tailbone and rise to come out of the pose.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

  • Reclined Knees to Chest pose

Modifications:

  • Place a blanket beneath the sitting bones if you cannot comfortably sit down on your heels.
  • If you cannot reach your head to the floor, place a blanket under the forehead to bring the floor to you.

SEQUENCING TIPS

  • Relaxes the body before or after any asana
  • Particularly nice as a counterpose for backbends

TEACHING CUES

  • Lengthen and widen the spine with each inhale. Sink deeper into the pose with each exhale.
  • Keep the arms engaged by reaching through the hands.
  • Sink down into the hips.
  • Relax the shoulders down, away from the ears.

VARIATIONS

  • Spread your knees as wide as your mat and let your chest come down between your legs.
  • Extend your arms behind you, palms facing up, to relax your shoulders.
  • With your arms extended in front of you, flip your palms toward the sky and rotate the shoulders externally.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Hips extremely high
  • Unable to place head on the floor