Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Balasana: Child's Pose

Have your kneeds apart (like in this picture) or together.
The Sanskrit word bala translates child and asana translates to pose. Therefore, balasana is the pose of children who represent innocence and receptivity.  

To get into balasana come to a seat with your knees bent and your legs tucked under you.  You can have your knees together or apart. Having your knees together aids digestion and makes the pose more heating.  Having your knees apart allows your chest to drop closer to the floor. Either way is correct but the variation with knees together is a more traditional yoga pose.

The next step is to lower you chest onto your legs or toward the ground.  Your forehead will rest on the ground. You can either have your arms rest above your head or down at your sides by your hips.  Adjust your arm position depending on how comfortable your shoulders are.
Arms at hips

Benefits: Passively stretches back muscles, opens lungs, releases internal organs, relieves neck and back pain. 
Warnings: Don't do this pose if you are pregnant or have major knee injuries. 
Arms above head

My favorite aspect of balasana is that it greatly reduces stress, both in the moment and long term.  It's a great time to focus on your breath and let your mind and body absorb what is happening. 

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