Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Child’s Pose (Balasana)
My students count this yoga pose as one of their favorites! Child’s pose is the Universal Signal for “I’d like a time out, please.” Students are always welcome to press to a Child’s Pose for a breath. Teachers use Child’s Pose both to connect more challenging poses (allowing a bit of spaciousness and rest) and to actively open the body and prepare for later poses in a sequence.
Difficulty level: Easy
- Stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles
- Can include a shoulder and back stretch in the active pose
- Reduces stress and fatigue
- Improves digestion
- Calms the mind
From Table, bring your toes together, spread your knees to hip distance apart on the mat. Exhale, then draw the hips to the heels. As you press your hips to your heels, on the next exhale, lower your chest towards your mat. If possible, allow the forehead to rest on the mat. Extend your arms overhead on the mat. Breathe in and out several times, pressing the hips closer to the heels on each exhalation.
For an active stretch: Inhale and extend your fingertips long on the mat. Holding the stretch, on an exhale, press your hips away from your shoulders drawing your spine long.
For a more restful, recuperative stretch: From table top, with the toes drawn together, draw the knees and thighs close together. Exhale and draw the heels towards the tailbone. On your next exhale, fold the chest over the thighs. Inhale and draw your arms parallel to your body with the palms of your hands facing up and fingertips pointing towards your feet. Exhale and release your shoulders towards the mat (this is a great way to access and release the area between the shoulder blades where we often hold tension!). Relax here for several breaths.
If your hips don’t comfortably reach your heels (or if you have a knee injury), place a bolster or blanket over the back of your thighs and descend your hips onto the bolster or blanket.
If it is not comfortable to bring the head to the floor, place a block, bolster, pillow or your stacked hands under your forehead to support your torso a bit further off the mat.
To assist in opening the shoulders, place a bolster, block or pillow under the forearm as you stretch out. The additional lift and rotation provided will enable a deeper shoulder stretch without requiring your head to reach the mat.
Looking for a yoga sequence you can incorporate into your daily routine? Check out Refresh, Renew, Reset~A 7-Day Jumpstart For Mind and Body. Stacey Portugal and I created this nutrition protocol with daily yoga and meditation so you can step powerfully and easily into your New Year!