Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose (Balasana) is one of my favorite poses to practice when I feel like I need to decompress. Not only is it calming for the mind, but it is also very good for digestion, elongating the lower back and opening up the hips. There are two ways to practice Child’s pose—one being with the knees together, belly and chest resting forward on the thighs with the arms stretched out overhead or to the sides, and the second being with the knees spread apart, belly and chest resting between the legs and the arms stretched overhead. If you want a greater stretch to the hips, the latter form is the best style to practice. If you want to focus more on digestion and massaging your internal organs against your thighs, the former style is the best one to do for that specific purpose. Whatever way you do this pose, you will definitely feel the grounding and resting benefits of it. By folding forward and resting your forehead to the ground and gently breathing, you are not only calming yourself but you are also giving your lower back a rest, which is an area that we tend to dump all of our weight into while sitting for long periods. By stretching your arms forward, you lend a greater stretch to the lower back, in addition to the shoulders and the arms. In general, I like to practice this pose before bed. It really helps to calm the body, mind and spirit, which creates a more peaceful night’s sleep.