Child Pose (Balasana or Garbhasana)
Sometimes… sigh… sometimes I just want to curl into a ball and cry. It’s life. It happens. We get overwhelmed, things don’t turn out the way we were hoping, or maybe we just stubbed our toe! As a lifelong student of yoga I admit I get upset with myself for submitting and being a crumpled, sobbing ball on the floor. I have so many tools from my yoga and Reiki studies. Why do some things reduce me to this? I should be able to deal with any situation with some sort of dignity! However, I have learnt and come to accept that sometimes we just need a really good cry to get out frustrations and to let go. To help myself feel better I go into child pose (balasana). There are many benefits both mentally and physically to child pose. It’s not just a pose to do when you feel like dying in a Vinyasa flow class and just can’t take one more flow between poses! It’s sweet and best of all you can still cry but no one can see you!
Heals, relaxes and rejuvenates entire body
Soothing when feeling cold, anxious or vulnerable
Encourages strong and steady breathing
Grounding and soothing; healing and restful
Balances all five elements
Relaxes all seven chakras
Massages the abdominal organs, kidneys and adrenal glands
Gently compressing the stomach and chest benefiting the digestive organs
Stretches the spine
Encourages flexion in hips and knees
How to get into Child Pose:
Begin in Table pose on hands and knees, tops of feet on the floor. Bring your knees together and rest your sit bones back onto your feet. Exhale and slowly rest your torso over your thighs so that your forehead touches the mat. Relax shoulders down and away from your ears. Arms at sides with palms facing up.
When to avoid:
If you are pregnant
Just after eating (can be uncomfortable)
Arms outstretched allowing for a more active stretch in back. Fingers spread wide and pressed into the mat. I also like to flip my palms towards the sky for some rotation and opening in the shoulders, this also feels awesome on the wrists.
Knees can be together or spread apart
If your head cannot reach the floor you can use a block or bolster for support.
If your butt doesn’t reach your heels you can use a block to help you feel more grounded
Sweet Warrior Tip:
When you are feeling stressed or upset and when going into child pose isn’t an option, for example at work in a meeting… something that will help relax and calm you is to put pressure onto your third eye (in between your eyebrows).