Balasana - The Child Pose

At a Glance

Balasana is the Sanskrit word for Child's Pose. Although it is a very simple posture, its effects are profound. The gentle forward-folding motion allows one to tap into deep states of relaxation, as it triggers the rest-and-digest mode of our parasympathetic nervous system. This is why Child's Pose is often used to open a Yoga class, as a resting posture, or to wind down at the end of a sequence. By allowing us to let go of our egoic identifications, Balasana allows us to connect to our inner child, or Heart center: the part of us that is trusting, pure, and authentic.

POSE TYPE
Kneeling pose

POSE CATEGORY
Forward bending
Restorative

ORIGIN
Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

SANSKRIT
Balasana
बालासन

PRONUNCIATION
bah-LAHS-anna

TRANSLATION
Child (Bala)
Pose (Asana)

Performance

STARTING
Sit in Vajrasana: Kneel on the ground with bent legs.
Keep the knees close to each other. Form a bowl with the soles of the feet, by bringing the heels beside the buttocks, while still sitting on them.

ENTERING
Straighten the spine, lift the chest, and slowly bend forward with a straight and elongated spine. Relax downward until the forehead touches the ground.
The arms are placed in front of the body with bent elbows and forearms resting on the ground. Alternatively, the hands may be placed alongside the legs with palms facing upward.

RELEASING
Activate the core muscles, inhale and slowly lift the torso out of the pose.

Benefits

PHYSIOLOGICAL
- Gently stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles.
- Tones the pelvic muscles and the sciatic nerves.
- Releases pressure from the spinal discs.
- Regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands.

ENERGETIC
Activates Anahata Chakra, the Heart Chakra.

PSYCHOLOGICAL
- Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
- Helps to eliminate anger and is very cooling for the brain.
- Soothes the personality, aids in overcoming the egoic identification.
- Getting in touch with the essence of our being – awakens the soul.

Contra-Indications

- High blood pressure
- Slipped discs
- Vertigo
- Diarrhea
- Knee injury: Modified Balasana
- Pregnancy: Modified practice after the first trimester

Inhale, and God approaches you. Hold the inhalation, and God remains with you. Exhale, and you approach God. Hold the exhalation, and surrender to God.
- Tirumalai Krishnamacharya

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