two women in yoga child pose

Child’s Pose Yoga – Promoting Mental and Physical Health

If you have been feeling stiffness, inflexibility, and tension in the neck, shoulders, hip joints, and back, then it’s time you learn about yoga. Numerous yoga styles promote stretching and relaxation of your body while delivering other mental and physical health benefits too.

This article will discuss child pose yoga’s benefits and why you should try it.

What is Child’s Pose in Yoga?

For beginners and experienced yogis, Child’s Pose yoga can promote mental and physical health. Lighter than other yogic routines, the Child’s Pose style encourages relaxation and mindfulness. Many also know it as balasana, a yoga poses specifically designed for beginners.

In the Sanskrit language, Bala means “child-like and young,” while asana means a “seated posture .”When we combine the two definitions, it is easy to figure that the Child’s Pose yoga is more a resting, relaxing, and stretching pose than anything rigorous.

Benefits of Child’s Pose Yoga

benefits of child pose yoga

Yogic experts claim that this style of yoga can help relieve back pain and its other benefits. Perhaps the routines that involve gentle stretching of the ankles, thighs, hips, and back help soothe the aching discomfort.

If you can incorporate this yoga practice into your daily routine, here are the benefits you will primarily experience.

1.    Gentle Stretching

This yoga style makes practitioners gently stretch their thighs, spine, ankles, and hips.

2.    Alleviate Tension

The slow-paced and easy routines help relieve hamstrings, shoulders, lower back, and chest tension. There is enough scientific evidence to support that yoga is an invaluable tool for individuals battling chronic pelvic pain.

The Child’s Pose is specifically a vital practice for improving pain management.

3.    Promotes Circulation

Yogic experts describe that Child’s Pose can stimulate blood circulation successfully to the head. This action enables the oxygen to reach all corners and niches in your body. Scientific studies suggest that a Child’s Pose positively affects the heart rate and blood pressure.

child pose yoga promote circulation

If you wish to adopt yoga to help with your cardiovascular issues, Balasana is the best choice.

4.    Relaxing

Strenuous daily activities, stress, and incorrect postures keep our body and muscles tense. Since this style is typically a resting pose that involves deep breathing, it helps practitioners relax significantly.

5.    Offers Respite

As we just mentioned, there can be moments in our days when we feel our muscles too bunched up or the tension in the body too overwhelming. Hence if you’re working from home, alone in your office cabin, or perhaps completing house chores, you can get on the floor and strike the Child’s Pose.

It offers an instantaneous respite for the body and mind and helps loosen up and uncurl. Moreover, the Child’s Pose supports mobility even after the yoga sessions.

Child’s Pose Yoga- How to Do it?

Balasana is relatively a more accessible pose to practice. If you’re ready to begin your Child’s Pose yoga journey, follow the steps.

1.    Begin with Your Knees

You must begin the session by kneeling on your yoga mat. To ensure you’re in the correct position, check to see if your buttocks are resting against the heels. Next, you will have to draw your feet together while resting your hands on the thighs.

When you’ve settled into the position, you may inhale and exhale slowly while your shoulders loosen and relax.

2.    Bow Forward

child pose yoga bow forward

The beauty of the Child’s Pose is the ease of practice. It gives ample individual time to get comfortable with the steps. Hence, once you feel comfortably settled in the above position, you may lower your body on an exhale towards the thighs.

You can make this move in your time without rushing through. While getting to this part, let your arms remain in front of you, with the palms resting face down on your mat. At the same time, your big toes must continue to touch while you stretch your thighs wide enough for your torso to rest between your things.

Things can get a trifle tricky at this point for pregnant women practicing this pose. Hence, they should try keeping their knees open the widest they can to prevent exerting pressure on the abdomen.

3.    You may Alternate

You are the best judge of your body when progressing through the motions. Hence, try to stay attuned to your body and the joints and sense of tightness. If your hip joints feel too tight, you could press your knees closer together. Then gently lower your torso atop your thighs.

If you wish to be more passive in your pose at this point, you may allow your palms to trail behind you while the palms face upwards. There is bound to be a bit of pressure on your ankles, but you can counteract that by placing a rolled cloth or towel under your shins.

4.    Unwind

This is where you begin experiencing the relaxing effects of the Child’s Pose. Let your body rest uninhibitedly against the mat. Allow your mind and body to immerse in the experience while you keep your eyes closed to let the physical ad mindful sensations envelop you.

 If you feel you require additional support for unwinding completely, you may use a pillow or a blanket between your thigh bottoms and calves.

5.    Inhale/Exhale

Now that you’re entirely relaxed physically and mentally, you may put the breathwork into play. You can incorporate a range of breathing exercises at this pose, practicing them while remaining in the Child’s Pose.

6.    Exit Correctly

When you have practiced poses sufficiently, you may exit it by first lengthening your torso. As you continue lifting your body backward, do it on a deep exhale. When exiting the Child’s Pose session, it would be best to mimic the table pose slowly, starting from the tailbone.

You may choose any breathing routine that suits you, but remember to breathe slowly so your lungs can expand to your back body. When breathing out, allow the pent-up stress and tension to flow from your stomach and back.

Practicing breath work for one to three minutes at least in each session is best.

Breath Work in Child’s Pose

The Child’s Pose focuses extensively on getting into form and getting the pose right, but that’s not all there is to it. Yogic experts emphasize that any form of yoga becomes significant when combined with movement and breathing.

So what is the appropriate breathing routine for this style?

Well, for starters, the best advantage of a Child’s Pose is that this routine is ideal for concentrating and regulating your breathing. In this yoga style, you must press your chest against your thighs, thereby preventing your belly from expanding to its usual.

This style encourages practitioners to breathe around their ribs, hence, getting the maximum dose of O2. Therefore, the breath work in this yoga style must include deliberate and slow breaths. This approach will channel your focus on breathing and help you gain control of it.

Moreover, with this controlled breathing technique, your heart rate will reduce to healthy levels too. To make it easier for you, your breathing focus in Balasana must be as follows:

  • When you inhale, the lower back must rise
  • When you exhale, the lower back must fall to the usual position

Possible Variations in Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose yoga is typically a basic style that aims to help beginners and people suffering from chronic conditions ease into the practice. But there is no reason why you need to continue with the basics when you are far past the initial stage.

Variations are possible for those who wish to progress from the beginner level or want some extra stretching with their Child’s Pose. If you wish to take your Child’s Pose level a little higher, here are the variations you may try.

1.    Adding an Extra Side Stretch

You add a bit of complexity to your Child’s Pose by doing side stretches along with the “arms out in front” routine. This will increase the focus on your back and core as well. Here is what you can do:

  • In the extended balasana pose, you may rotate your left arm in the left direction.
  • Then bring your right arm in the same direction, ensuring that both palms remain on the floor throughout.
  • When your arms are in the correct direction, you can push your hips gently towards the right.
  • When you have gotten used to this variation, you can repeat the same in the right direction.

2.    A little More than the Basic

child pose yoga a little more than the basic

You could extend your practice if you feel up to a bit more stretching along with your primary Child’s Pose. Begin by bringing your hands to the front edge of your mat rather than pinning them by your sides. With this extension of the basic balasana, you will give your shoulders more room to stretch and increase flexibility.

Here is what to do:

  1. Once you’re in the basic Child’s Pose, sit back on your heels and bring your arms out in front, palms facing downwards.
  2. Then move your hips backward to the point where the balls of your feet are. When you assume this position, you must relax your upper body while your torso, shoulders, and chest sink to the floor.
  3. Let your shoulders loose so that they’re farther away from your ears. This is to let all the tension in the upper back, neck, and shoulders drift away.
  4. When exiting this pose, let your arms return to your sides while you draw back in a non-extended, usual balasana way.

3.    Consider a Yoga Block

child pose yoga consider yoga block

Do you know why yoga is a highly popular fitness approach? People prefer it vastly because of its lack of pain and rigorous routines. This proves that yoga is not meant to hurt, but unfortunately, the less flexible people can suffer discomfort in Balasana.

It does not happen with everyone, but few may struggle to get their heads to the mat. An easy alternative for people who relate to this problem is a yoga block. You may even use a folded blanket as a substitute if not for a yoga block.

You can place the block or blanket to elevate the area where your head should rest downwards for the Child’s Pose. Once your body starts loosening and your flexibility improves, you can let go of the block and try stretching your head further.

Related Questions

Can something go wrong when practicing the Child’s Pose?

Yes, there are common mistakes that beginners often make in Balasana. Although the most basic form of yoga, it can take some time to learn the accurate positions for the head, heel, arms, and other body parts.

Here are some common mistakes you can avoid:

Prioritizing the neck

Trying to get the other positions right makes it easy to forget the neck’s position in balasana. Hence, remember to give your neck’s position equal importance. To make it easier, you could use the yoga block or a pillow under your head so that your neck remains in a neutral position.

Moreover, the support under your hand will also ease the pressure on your neck, allowing it an equal chance to enjoy the Child’s Pose.

Tour Buttocks to the Heels

The best way to assess the accuracy of your position is to feel your buttocks touching your heels. Although challenging, practice will help you relax enough to achieve this element.

People often focus so much on the discomfort that they allow stiffness and knots to overwhelm their back. This may prevent your buttock from resting against the heels as it should. To prevent this, you can begin with postures focusing mainly on your back, like the cat-cow pose.

Is Modification Necessary while practicing?

Modification is not necessary when doing the balasana pose. Instead, it is a personal choice, but many practitioners feel modification promotes more flexibility. For instance, you may keep your knees together if you find it more comfortable.

However, others may feel better when their knees are spaced widely apart. Similarly, others prefer to curl their toes under, especially if they have flat feet. Hence, the choice of modifications is up to the discretion of the practitioners and their comfort factor.

Is the Child’s Pose Safe for everyone?

Yogic experts highly recommend balasana for beginners and those who wish for more effortless routines. While any style of yoga is safe for all, one must avoid practicing if one suffers from a knee injury. For pregnant women, practicing the Child’s Pose is safe, so long as they space their legs wide apart.

Pregnant women must also refrain from pressing their stomach on their thighs or allowing pressure on the abdomen. Practitioners with a shoulder injury may find support by keeping their arms by the side when doing the balasana pose.

Is the Child’s Pose suitable for a particular level?

Balasana is typically a resting pose. One can enter it in a kneeling position on the floor while bringing their chest, thighs, forehead, and arms into the correct position.

However, yogic experts recommend it as an excellent position for yoga beginners. When perfecting any practice, one must begin at the entry-level. However, others may also use the Child’s Pose to build a solid foundation for mindful breath work.

This yoga style provides multiple mental and physical health benefits while relieving tension from the body and stretching the back and legs. Those who thoroughly enjoy the Child’s Pose or find it very beneficial may continue with it but can add variations.

Conclusion

We have described the best approach for beginners if you’re ready to adopt a yoga lifestyle. This article highlights the physical and mental benefits of child pose yoga and the step-by-step routine.

We have discussed the science behind stretching routines and how they promote circulation and improve cardiovascular health.

Resources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/multimedia/childs-pose/vid-20453580

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5425577/

https://www.wikihow.com/Perform-Child-Pose-in-Yoga#qa_headline