Yoga Fundamentals: Child's Pose

Just as we discussed in the previous yoga fundamental posts (Breathing, Foot Roll, and Legs Up the Wall), if you think yoga is inaccessible to you, these fundamentals are an excellent place to start.  Once you feel comfortable with moving your body and experiencing the sensation of the movement, you may find yourself more comfortable with the thought of progressing in a yoga practice.

Today we will examine an essential yoga pose--child's pose or Balasana.  This pose is restorative an relaxing.  Generally, it is used between other asana as a rest period, therefore, it's helpful to know.  It eases tension, calm the mind, and opens the hips and back.  

Please, take it slow, be gentle, and if you have any hesitation, consult your doctor. ***Use caution and consult your doctor particularly if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, knee or ankle issues, or have ear or eye infection. ***

4. Child's Pose
- In a position kneeling on the floor, bring the tops of your feet to the floor, toes untucked.

- With a straight back, sit your hips back, bringing them towards your ankles.

- Breathe.  Breathe deeply and steadily throughout, concentrating on your breath and movement.  Lengthen the torso and spine with each breath.

- Lie your torso down forward towards the floor, finding a comfortable position for your knees, either directly under your shoulders (about hip width apart) or out to the sides.  Push hips back firmly towards your ankles.  Your forehead can be: on a block, your fists/ hands, or on the floor in front of you. (Knees apart here will provide a little more hip opening, so experiment to find what is most comfortable for you, remembering it could change from day to day.)

- Depending on what is most comfortable, your arms can be extended out in front of your body, in front and under your forehead, or wrapping your legs with hands towards ankles. 

o If you reach your arms in front of you, press palms into the floor, raise your elbows, and straighten your arms.  Keep your shoulders away from the ears.

o If you place your forehead on your hands, keep the shoulders down and away from the ears.

o If you reach your arms behind you, bring your hands towards your feet or hips.  Arms behind will provide more shoulder release.

- Breathe deeply and take notice of your breathIs it steady? 

This pose is meant to be restorative.  Like Legs Up the Wall, it can help to calm you after a stressful day or get you ready for a good night's sleep.

Have you ever tried yoga?  Or would you?  Let me know what you think!

In order to see all "March Mindfulness" posts, click on the "March Mindfulness" label at the conclusion of this post.

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