This posture looks very easy but can certainly be a challenge when there is stiffness in the muscles. In order to get into this pose, many muscles need to extend. It can be difficult to breathe properly and this asana can be a big challenge. These tips help you to do the Child’s Pose with more ease!
What is the Child’s Pose?
This is basic pose: kneeling forward. In yoga jargon this pose is called “Balasana”. Bala means ‘young, childlike, not yet fully grown’. Due to the forward deflection gravity forces the body deeper into the posture. The challenge in this asana is to put the forehead on the floor and the sitting bones towards the heels. Because the chest rests on the upper legs, the movement of the breath towards the abdomen and the front part of the rib cage is limited. When the back is smooth, it can expand more on the inhalation and there is less pressure on the chest and an optimal stretch of the entire spine.
What is the effect of the Child’s Pose?
The entire spinal column and in particular the dorsal back muscles are strengthened just like the hamstrings. The large but muscle and calf muscle are also lengthened and the toe joints loosened. When there is stiffness in the hip joint and lower back, it can be a challenge to breathe freely in this pose. To experience relaxation, the goal is to make the back as arched as possible on the inhalation so that breathing is easier.
This is how you do the Child’s Pose
Sit on hands and knees and place the forehead on the floor. Extend the arms backwards along the body, hands towards the feet. Let the chest rest on the top legs and push the sitting bones towards the heels. On the inhalation the back arches with the sit bones resting on the heels.
When the lower back or hips feel stiff, the following alternatives can help:
- Place a cushion on your ankles and let the sitting bones rest on it.
- Place a cushion on the floor to place the head there when it does not touch the ground.
- As an intermediate step it can be nice to place the hands on the ground at the height of the shoulders for support.
The more relaxing the breathing goes, the more the muscles and joints relax and the easier the pose.