Balasana, the Child’s posture, is one of the most elementary rest or relaxation asanas, it is one of the first postures that most instructors teach and you will probably find it in your classes.
Due to its simplicity and the physical benefits it brings, it is very common for it to be practiced in classes of activities other than yoga, such as dance, stretching, and even conscious gymnastics classes.
It is an extremely common asana, which can be done before or after any other posture. It is usually incorporated as a break between the more advanced series.
Balasana can be a welcome break for someone new to yoga, a relatively easy pose to adopt. For an advanced practitioner, it becomes possible to explore and deepen more and more, experiencing it with more awareness of the body, the breath and the very essence of the posture.
In many cases, this posture awakens a kind of physical and psychological memory of our childhood. That sense of peace and security is great for calming the mind, relaxing the body, and deepening breathing. In the long term, it will help create a general sense of calm and well-being, both on and off the mat.
The Child’s posture causes the body to adopt a position in which the front of the rib cage is somewhat compressed. This creates a resistance to shallow and frontal breathing that most people have adopted as their daily breathing.
For many, practicing Balasana for the first time is being confronted with the need to breathe in a new and alien way. The pressure exerted in the front naturally causes a deeper breath to be sought, which helps to avoid the uncomfortable sensation generated by the distention of the abdomen in this position. Slowly, the air is drawn to areas other than the upper part of the lungs, exploring its full capacity.
It is a gentle way to stretch and open the hips, thighs, and ankles.
Provides relief for people who are fatigued or under a lot of stress.
Increases blood circulation to the head.
Helps relax and calm both mind and body.
It is an excellent posture for practicing mindful breathing.
As we already said, the Child’s posture is a resting position, so it should be comfortable for him. The flexibility and anatomy of your body can make one variation or the other more comfortable, so feel free to experiment until you find the modification that works for you.
It is not recommended to perform this asana if you have knee or ankle injuries. Balasana can put a lot of pressure on the ankles and requires a great bend in the knees, so it is advisable to replace it with another resting asana.
If you have neck problems and your forehead does not rest comfortably on the floor, prop it up on your forearms or pillows or blocks.
If your buttocks do not come to rest your heels, it is advisable to place a pillow between them and your heels to rest in this pose.
If the posture is uncomfortable around the ankles or instep, you can roll up a blanket or towel and place it under your feet.
If your head or hips are not resting where they should be due to lack of flexibility, you can use a pillow to make the posture more comfortable. Balasana is excellent for progressively working flexibility. Over time, you will no longer need this modification.
Some people may experience the sensation of leaning forward, carrying too much weight towards the head. To fix this, you can extend your arms forward instead of holding them to your sides. This modification also makes the posture a bit more active and deepens the elongation of the back.
In general, many of the discomforts experienced in Balasana can be solved by widening the separation of the knees. This modification is ideal for pregnant women or people with a more prominent abdomen and those who experience a feeling of suffocation or claustrophobia with the knees more closed.