Getting Into Child’s Pose:
Begin by kneeling on a yoga mat or the floor. Bring your knees together and your buttocks to your feet. Exhale and slowly rest your torso over your thighs so that your forehead touches the mat.
For active child’s pose, lift your buttocks slightly and stretch your arms over your head. Place your palms on the floor and reach your arms until you feel your shoulder blades stretching across your back. Sit back down on your heels without changing the position of your arms. Feel your torso lengthening. For a more passive version, let your arms rest palms up at your sides. Feel the stretch in your spine. Close your eyes, steady your breathing and allow a deeper level of relaxation. Alternate between these two versions of Balasana if you like.
Breath control is a significant element of child’s pose. Since breathing is usually an involuntary action, not a conscious choice, Balasana allows us an opportunity to breathe fully into the back of the torso. Imagine your spine lengthening and widening with each inhalation. As you exhale, fall deeper into relaxation, allowing the stretch to release a little more tension with each breath. Focus on your breathing to help increase concentration and shut out distractions.
The goal is to have your forehead touching the ground in front of you while your buttocks remains in contact with your heels. If you find it strenuous to sit on your heels throughout this posture, modify it by placing a thickly folded blanket between the backs of your thighs and your calves.
The Benefits of Child’s Pose:
Releases tension in the back, shoulders and chest
Recommended if you have dizziness or fatigue
Helps alleviate stress and anxiety
Flexes the body’s internal organs and keeps them supple
It lengthens and stretches the spine
Relieves neck and lower back pain when performed with the head and torso supported
It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles
Normalizes circulation throughout the body
It stretches muscles, tendons and ligaments in the knee
Calms the mind and body
Encourages strong and steady breathing