Child's Pose (Balasana or Garbhasana in Sanskrit)
I used to hate this pose. I simply thought it was a waste of valuable time in my yoga practice. I wanted to move, sweat, do more.
This pose is the antithesis of all that. In fact, it embraces stillness.
So no wonder I love it now. My life is busy. When I get on the yoga mat I want to step away from the excited energy of daily living. I want to reconnect with myself. I want to restore my inner sense of peace.
This asana offers the great therapeutic benefit of stress relief. It calms and quiets the mind. It is relaxing. It can help with awareness and expansion of breath. And on top of all that, it is a great stretch for the hips, thighs, and ankles.
Welcome Child's Pose!
Here's how to do it if you are new to the practice:
1. Start in a kneeling position with your feet together and sit on your heels. Separate your knees at least hip width apart.
2. Exhale and, with a long straight spine, drape your torso over your thighs until your forehead rests on the floor. Let the hips sink down toward your heels.
3. Rest your arms alongside your torso, palms face-up, and release your shoulders down toward the floor.
4. Allow your inhale to expand your back body, rib-cage, and spine. Use your exhale to settle and soften into this fold.
a. If your forehead doesn't easily reach the floor, place a yoga block or small pillow under your head.
b. If it is difficult to sit on your heels in this position, a folded blanket can be placed between the back thighs and calves.
c. You can choose to stretch the arms out in front instead of leaving them alongside your body. Press into the hands to lengthen through your back body.
Stay in this pose from 30 seconds up to a few minutes. When you are ready to release out, lengthen your spine, and inhale back up to a seated position.