Tutorial: Child’s pose
In this tutorial, I’m guiding you through Child’s pose - Balasana! It’s a fantastic relaxing pose to put in your happiness-toolbox. It stretches your whole body and releases tension in the areas where it’s common to store stress. Child’s pose is a great pose for you to do first thing in the morning, during the day if you need a break or during a yoga class, if you need some time to rest and slow down your breathing. It is also good if you have many thoughts swirling around in your head and just need to slow down.
Close your eyes, let gravity pull you down towards the earth in a nurturing way, opening up your hips, elongating your back and stretching out your arms. Stay in the pose for a few breaths, or even for a few minutes. Do what feels good for you!
Some of the great benefits of this pose
1. Slows down your breath
Gently folding forward and stretching out your back in Child’s pose, encourages you to breathe slowly, steadily and consciously. This way of breathing activates the rest-and-digest mode of your nervous system - called the parasympathetic system - which is exactly what we want to activate when we are feeling anxious or stressed out.
2. Calms you down and relieves stress
Child’s pose is a true therapeutic posture for relieving stress by centering, calming, and soothing your brain.
Placing your head (or more specifically, the space between your eyebrows named your “third eye”) down on the mat or a cushion, has an instant calming effect on your brain. By closing your eyes and folding forward, you center your energy inwards, sending a signal to your brain that you are safe and that it’s OK to rest.
By doing this pose, you also remind yourself of the importance of finding balance between being active and resting. This includes both on the mat, but more importantly off the mat in your daily life.
3. Relieves tension in your lower back and neck
Most of us spend far too many hours a day sitting (at a desk), which causes a lot of tension and compression in the lower back. This tension is caused by the tendency to ‘dump’ our weight into the lower back, and not elongating our posture and keeping the core active and stable. By restfully folding forward into child’s pose, you elongate your spine and neck, creating more space between each vertebrae, releasing any tension.
4. Gently opens up and stretches the hips, knees, thighs, ankles, arms and shoulders
Sitting down too much also has a negative effect on your hips, tightening all of the muscles in and around your hips. By opening wide between your knees and relaxing your tummy down into the ground you get a nice stretch of your hips, relieving any pain you might be having. The same thing is true for your knees, thighs, ankles, arms and shoulders. The child’s pose is a great way to gently open up your whole body.
5. Fantastic stress-reduction tool that can be used anytime or anywhere
You really don’t need any yoga clothes, a yoga mat or props to do this pose. It can be done anytime and anywhere.
Modifications of the pose
If you have difficulty sitting on your heels in this pose, place a cushion or a thickly folded blanket between the back of your thighs and calves. If you have difficulty relaxing your forehead down into the mat, place a cushion or a blanket underneath your forehead. Find the modification of this pose that works for your body! This is a resting pose, so take the time you need to find your relaxed version of the Child’s pose.
Take it easy. If you have any problems with your knees, this pose might not be for you.
Sending you love, happiness and ease!
Your yoga teacher at online-therapy·com
petra (at) online-therapy.com