Pose of the Week: Balasana (child pose)
In this pose, there is rest for the weary. For both children and adults, balasana (child pose) offers a wonderful sense of relaxation. It promotes an inward focus on breath, and smooths out the nervous system. A wonderful posture for unwinding, releasing tension or stress, and finding a sense of calm, try child pose whenever you are feeling overwhelmed or tired.
- Begin in kneeling, touching the inside of both big toes together. Knees can be touching or as wide as the hips.
- Exhale and lower your torso forward, pressing your abdomen into your thighs and curling your back to rest your forehead on the floor. Sit bones will be resting on your heels. If this is uncomfortable, place a thick blanket or pillow between your Arms should be extended back, hanging loosely from your shoulders and passively resting on the floor close to your body. To modify, place your fists beneath your forehead for comfort.
- Rest in the pose from 1-3 minutes. When ready, lift from the front of your torso and inhale as you rise.
Balasana offers the additional benefit of stretching hips, thighs, and ankles. It can relieve neck and back pain with the fist modification. In pregnancy, moving knees beyond hips distance to make room for an expanding belly is necessary.
For beginners and those who are looking to intensify the relaxation of child pose, with each inhale round your back separating your shoulder blades from your spine. Feel your spine lengthening. Alternately, arms can be stretched forward, further lengthening the spine. Inhale into the stretch, rising your seat slightly off of your legs, and exhale lowering. Sink deeper into your hips.
Try this with your baby, toddler, or child when you are both feeling the effects of a busy day. Baby’s can rest safely next to, or in front of, you if your arms are outstretched. Once babies start to roll over, notice that they may naturally sleep in a modification of this pose. We are innately born with the need to feel a sense of serenity. Toddlers will often enjoy crawling over mom or dad as you relax into this pose. When your child is older, allow them to creativity become involved in your pose, as an extension of your balasana. Self-expression through yoga is a great bonding activity.
If you are interested in learning more about Yoga or about classes offered by Mamoga Wellness, please visit www.beindandunwind.com.