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What is Yoga Child Pose ? How to do Balasana
|By : Yoga Pranayama , Bangalore, India 6.9.2012 Phone:9241780851 Mail Now|
Balasana, or the Child Pose, taken from the Sanskrit word ‘bala’ meaning child, is a restful, almost meditative pose that is often used by experienced Yoga practitioners as a resting pose, and by beginners as an introduction to deep forward bends. The reason this pose is called the Yoga child pose is that it closely mimics the fetal position – tightly curled, as you would have been in utero, but let’s take a closer look at how to do Child pose or Balasana, and what the health benefits of Balasana are to new Yoga converts as well as experienced Yoga devotees.
How to Do Child Pose
As a relaxing pose, there isn’t much balance or overt strain involved in the Yoga Child pose. The steps involved are simple, and even the newest of beginners in Yoga can master this pose in a very short amount of time.
1. Kneel on the floor with the inside of your big toes touching.
2. Lower your hips until you are ‘sitting’ on your heels.
3. Shift your knees until they are in line with your hips.
4. Exhale slowly; relax your hips until they subside as much as possible towards the floor.
5. Lean forward, laying your torso between your thighs.
6. Imagine your tail bone lifting up, away from the floor, while you straighten your neck, lifting the base of your skull.
7. Round your shoulders, relaxing them and allowing them to ‘fall’ forward, towards the floor.
8. At the same time, stretch your arms back, towards your feet, along the sides of your body.
9. Relax your arms and hands, leaving your palms lying open, facing upwards.
10. Hold the pose for as long as you like, from 30 seconds to several minutes.
The Yoga Child pose in Yoga and Pranayama is one that is designed to be relaxing and non-strenuous. It’s often used by beginners in the Sun Salutation, instead of the Downward Facing Dog, but it can be used by virtually anyone, at any time, for relaxation.
As a variation, you can try this pose with your arms stretched forward, above your head. You can also try using a pad or blanket under your knees if you find this pose is too hard on them, and you can use this pose to practice your Yoga and Pranayama breathing.
Benefits of the Yoga Child Pose
Now that you know how to do the Yoga Child Pose, you may still be wondering why you should, and what the benefits are.
The most obvious benefit is to the thighs, which this pose helps to stretch and prepare for more strenuous Yoga poses, but there are other specific health benefits to the Balasana or Child Pose:
• Stress relief. The Yoga Child Pose is deeply relaxing – almost meditative. So if you are stressed or worried, it’s the perfect pose to use to collect your thoughts.
• The Balasana pose also gently stretches the hips, ankles and thighs, improving flexibility.
• If combined with head and neck support, the Balasana or Yoga Child Pose can also help to relieve neck and upper back pain.
Dos and Don’ts of the Yoga Child Pose
As an easy to master beginners pose, that does not place large amounts of strain on the body, the Balasana or Child Pose is probably one of the least risky of all Yoga and Pranayama poses. However, there are a few instances where you might want to avoid it, unless you have your doctor’s go ahead. Those include:
• If you are pregnant.
• If you have a knee injury (it may still be possible, but don’t try it without expert advice!)
• If you have diarrhea.
Just about everyone else, including children and even the elderly, can do the Balasana or Yoga Child Pose safely whenever they choose to, and it’s a great pose for those who are new to Yoga, or in between more strenuous poses later on, to give yourself time to re-center and focus.