Balasana (Child’s Pose) can be a highly under-rated and under-utilized Yoga Pose in our Yoga classes.
Balasana yields tremendous physical, mental, and energetic benefits including:
* gently stretches lower back, hips, thighs, knees, ankles
* relaxes spine, shoulders, neck
* increases blood circulation to the head reducing headaches
* massages internal organs
* calms the mind (central nervous system) and helps relieve stress and tension
As part of a gentle, restorative Yoga practice or incorporated in vigorous Power Yoga classes, Balasana offers the mind and body periods of connection and grounding. With the forehead resting on the earth, a gentle pressure and connective energy is taken into the Anja Chakra (energy center of command). This connective energy opens the inner gaze to explore one’s imagination, intuition, concentration and focus. Balasana allows one to explore the healing sensations of breath. When folded in Child’s Pose, one can readily send breath into the back tissues, thus massaging internal organs like the kidneys and adrenal glands. Balasana takes the gentle loading of gravity and applies a natural expansion to the back, knees, and ankles.
While gravity moves the body into a comfortable fetus-like posture, the mind can experience qualities of calm and balance by focusing on breath going into the layers of softness.
Balasana allows one to experience true release while developing an aurora of inner silence. Balasana is all about comfort. Traditionally, Child’s Pose is performed by placing the arms besides the body and relaxing down into the elbows and hands. Some people, though, have much of their body weight distributed higher in the torso. When the arms are draped back, the upper body weight pulls the torso forward and causes the neck to be pushed into a collapsing, compressive arch. Child’s Pose then becomes a place of struggle and doubt, and the body will not naturally relax. If you find that the hips rise and pressure comes forward into the head and neck, I recommend that you keep the arms extended forward or place the hands together with elbows bend to the sides and rest the forehead on your hands.
If you have problems with the bottom of your feet cramping, try rolling up a small blanket and placing this under your ankles. This blanket should be positioned so that the toes can pour over the edge of the rolled blanket. This may reduce the pressure and extension of ankles going into the ground, thus reducing the cramping that echoes in the feet. If you have difficulty breathing due to the torso draping over the thighs. Lightly separate the thighs to provide room for the abdomen to float between. If you have concerns about over flexing/bending the knees, place a folded blanket between the hips and heels to reduce the forward bending motion being taken into the knee joints.
Enjoy Balasana with completeness and presence. If an impatient energy sets in wanting you to move onto the next pose, dissolve this distracting energy by reminding yourself of the generous benefits and of the opportunity of healing this Yoga pose offers.