Derived from the roots bala = child, and asana = pose. Thus, Balasana means “child’s pose”.
How to perform Balasana
1. Kneel to the ground on your knees. Sit on your heels with big toes touching each other and knees to the side about hip distance apart.
2. On an exhale, move your trunk and place it in between your thighs. Stretch the sacral bone (back of the pelvis area) by nestling the hip closer to the thighs, toward the naval. Pull the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
3. Place your hands on the ground along the sides of the body, palms up. Relax and release the shoulders. Notice how putting forward weight on the shoulders pulls the shoulder blade wide across your back.
4. Balasana is a resting position. Hold in this pose for 30 seconds to a few minutes. This position can also be used by beginners to get a feel for a deep forward back bend. To return back, first stretch or lengthen the front portion of the body. On inhale, lift your tailbone and push it toward the pelvis.
- It helps in relieving the symptoms of stress (Conference, 2016) and improves vagal tone and heart rate variability when coupled with a longer outbreath.
- It helps in gently stretching the thighs, hips, and ankles.
- It helps in calming the nervous system
- Improves cardiac health (K, S, et al., 2017).
- It helps in relieving physical and mental fatigue
- It helps in relieving back and neck pain when the pose is performed while supporting the head and torso (Plastaras et al., 2015).
- It helps in activating the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, scapula muscle, pectoralis major (Ibrahim et al., 2012).
- Helps improve sleep quality (Mustian et al., 2013).
- It massages the lower colon by providing pressure to this region which may assist in reducing constipation, reducing transit times and increasing the amount of fecal matter and peristalsis overall.
- It assists in the flow of downward apana vayu which aids the lower digestive tract, the rectum and reproductive systems, male and female.
- It stimulates basti marma, which is said to assist in the health of the bladder.
- Contradictions and Cautions
- Individuals suffering from diarrhea should not perform this pose
- Avoid this pose if pregnant or widen the legs to provide room for the abdomen
- Unless under the supervision of a yoga teacher, avoid this pose if suffering from knee injury.
Follow up Poses
- Balasana is a resting pose that can precede or follow any asana.
Balasana provides an excellent opportunity to take conscious awareness of our breath, taking it fully into the back and torso. While in the pose, imagine that each inhale creates an arch in your back toward the ceiling, lengthening and widening the spine. With each exhale, release the torso more deeply into the fold.
To increase the length of the torso, stretch your arms out forward with palms facing the floor. Lift your buttocks just slightly away from your heels. While reaching the arms forward, draw the shoulder blades down the back. Then without moving the hands, sit the buttocks back down to the heels.
Conference, I. E. F. (2016). InternationalEducationalFuturesConference. 106–109.
Ibrahim, F., Ahmad, S. A., Woo, P. J., & Abas, W. A. B. W. (2012). Biomechanical Response of the Upper Body during Prostration in Salat and the Child^|^rsquo;s Pose: a Preliminary Study. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 24(10), 1021–1024. https://doi.org/10.1589/jpts.24.1021
K, J. P., S, D. K., & B, S. (2017). Effect of Balasana on cardiac parameters among healthy medical students. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology, 12. https://doi.org/10.5455/njppp.2017.7.0831518082017
Mustian, K. M., Sprod, L. K., Janelsins, M., Peppone, L. J., Palesh, O. G., Chandwani, K., Reddy, P. S., Melnik, M. K., Heckler, C., & Morrow, G. R. (2013). Multicenter, randomized controlled trial of yoga for sleep quality among cancer survivors. Journal of Clinical Oncology, 31(26), 3233–3241. https://doi.org/10.1200/JCO.2012.43.7707
Plastaras, C. T., Huang, L. Y., & Metzger, C. J. (2015). Yoga Therapy for Management of Neck and Low Back Pain. Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy, 05(04).