How to do Child’s Pose or Balasana
About 30 years ago (give or take) when my littlest sister came home, she was put in her crib, on her tummy and she would be balled up in this tiny, what I remember even then adorable little ball. Her knees would be tucked in tight to her chest, her little arms resting down to her side, and her head would be turned over to one side or the other. She was the epitome of peace and calm (at least for those brief moments of sleep.) My younger sister (just one up from that sister) continued to sleep like that well into her childhood.
Nowadays, it is not recommended that babies sleep on their tummies like they did when I was growing up. I sorta wonder if that’s why my little ones never slept as long or as well as my youngest sister. I may also be looking back on that little baby memory through the rose colored glasses of a 10-year old that still got to sleep while my poor mom got up to nurse her. 🤷 Since we can’t really sleep like that (well most of us I imagine) the closest thing we can get to as adults is the yoga pose called Balasana or Child’s Pose.
How To Do Child’s Pose Video Tutorial
In this video tutorial, Jennifer Dixon ERYT 500 and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher breaks down Balasana Pose or Child’s Pose.
This is a grounding pose, which is probably why babies naturally want to sleep in this position. It elicits a feeling of safety and security as you wrap yourself into the smallest space possible, as close to the ground as you can be. You'll find in classes ranging in intensity from the more relaxing yin class all the way up to a heated power class as this pose is grounding, builds mobility in your hips, knees and ankles (and can help build mobility in your shoulders depending on the modification you practice.
Here’s the thing, we are all a few years past the days of naturally curling into a little ball regularly, so this may not be the most comfortable position. When you are first starting out, be sure to have blankets or small cushions around to put under your ankles or behind your knees. This can help support your body as you wait for the stiffness that may be apparent to loosen up.
Things to think about when practicing Balasana or Child's Pose:
Your knees can be together or apart
Try to have your toes touching
Bring your forehead down to the ground. If it can't get that low, grab a block or a bolster (you may need a couple, which is totally ok!)
Arms down to the side is a bit more relaxing and grounding
Arms out in front can be a stretch for the shoulders
Let your hips sink down as far as your knees and ankles can take it
Remember, you don't have to get your hips all the way down to your heels and your forehead to the ground on your first try. Take your time and grab some props! They'll help you to experience the pose at your capacity and then as you grow in your practice, the tools you need will change.
You can practice this pose every day, and you can stay there as long as 3 - 5 minutes. This is also a great pose to "escape" to when feeling overwhelmed or even tired.
Have you ever tried another variation of this pose? Let me know! I'd love to see it!
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Don't forget, you can find more tutorials and classes with Jennifer inside Thrive Online. If you are in Chattanooga, TN, come and practice with us at Thrive Yoga and Wellness. We also offer the Chattanooga Area’s ONLY Modular 200 and now 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training program.
This post was written by Jennifer Dixon ERYT 500 and Authorized Ashtanga Yoga teacher (by Manju Jois, son of Pattahbi Jois, father of Ashtanga Yoga). Jennifer owns Thrive Yoga and Wellness located in Chattanooga, TN and is the lead teacher of the Thrive Yoga and Wellness 200 and 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training Programs. When Jennifer is not teaching or working on her business, she’s practicing yoga, playing with two children (outside as much as possible), goofing off with her saint of a husband, or in general moving around as much as possible. Be sure you check out our Youtube Channel and Like and Subscribe for more tutorials, reviews, sequences and all things yoga and wellness!