Child’s Pose: Benefits and How to Do It Step-By-Step

The child’s pose is a basic yoga pose, which benefits the lower back. As a resting posture, it also positively affects the mind and can help alleviate depression, Parkinson’s disease, and menstrual cramps.

In this article, you will learn about the history, benefits, proper execution, modifications, and variations of the child’s pose.

What Is Child’s Pose?

Balasana, the child’s pose, is yoga’s most crucial resting pose (Staugaard-Jones et al. 2015).

It is known for its calming, grounding, and relaxing effect on the nervous system. It gently stretches the lower back, hips, and thighs while calming the mind and relieving stress. That is why it is one of the most popular postures in Yin Yoga.

The child’s pose is great for taking a break or retracing between more active yoga poses. It helps improve posture, relieve back pain, and promote overall health.

The word Balasana consists of the two Sanskrit words “Bala” (child) and “Asana” (posture or seat). Therefore, it is also commonly known as “child’s pose.”

The name comes from the fact that it is a posture that resembles a child in a resting position. Relaxing and breathing deeply in Balasana can provide a sense of calm and comfort, like when a child rests in their mother’s arms.

The posture should not be missing from any yoga class. While some yoga postures can be physically active and strenuous, the child’s pose permits you to rest and develop a sense of calm and serenity.

What Are the Benefits of Child’s Pose?

1. Calms the Mind

The posture helps to turn away from distracting stimuli and calm the mind while you focus on your breath. Often the eyes are closed, and the focus is entirely inward.

Even in a room full of people, the child’s pose gives you the feeling of being all to yourself. As you remain in the posture longer, you naturally relax and relieve stress.

2. Promotes Blood Circulation

The child’s pose is excellent for promoting blood circulation, as it encourages blood flow to the spine, brain, and organs.

Healthy blood circulation is essential for a healthy body. Blood carries oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, removing carbon dioxide and tissue waste. Active movements and specific resting postures like Balasana promote blood circulation.

3. Relieves Tension in the Lower Back

Child’s pose is a beautiful, easily accessible posture that combats tension and pressure, especially in the lower back, with a gentle stretch.

Tension in the lower back is often subject to a stressful daily routine, so pain and pressure occur. The stretching of the spine leads to a pleasant relief of the lower back.

4. Lengthens the Spine

The asana not only relaxes the lower back but also lengthens the entire spine.

During movements in everyday life, the spine is often compressed.

Child’s pose rebalances this movement by lengthening the spine and creating space between each vertebra. This way, it can even relieve pressure on the intervertebral discs.

5. Opens the Hips

Balasana is excellent for gently stretching the hips and opening hip muscles.

The pose helps prepare for yoga poses that require the hips to be open and warmed up, relieve hip pain, and prevent future hip problems.

Like the back, the hips can also be put under much stress throughout the day.

6. Alleviates Parkinson’s

In a clinical study of the highest quality, regular performance of child pose significantly reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease (Kwok et al. 2017Kwok et al. 2019).

7. Increases Mobility

In the same study, the 60-minute yoga program, which included two variations of child’s pose, increased patients’ mobility significantly (Kwok et al. 2017Kwok et al. 2019).

8. Reduces Depression

Child’s posture offers additional benefits in reducing anxiety and depressive symptoms. Thus, it increases mental well-being (Kwok et al. 2017Kwok et al. 2019).

9. Gives New Energy

Posture is an excellent way to draw new energy. Tension and stress are released as you connect with your breath and turn your focus inward.

This way, the exercise balances your body and mind, helping you go through the day with renewed energy and focus.

10. Aids Digestion

Specific yoga poses, like Balasana, can help with poor digestion and aid the digestive process. The upper body rests on or between the thighs in the child’s pose, stimulating digestion.

As you breathe in and out in this posture, the abdomen stretches and gently massages the digestive organs, getting digestion going and relieving bloating.

The closer your knees are to each other, the more the organs are stimulated.

How to Do Child’s Pose (Balasana)

  1. Begin in a quadrupedal position, pushing your buttocks backward onto your heels. The knees are open mat-width so that the upper body has space between the thighs.
  2. Bring the torso down to the floor with the next exhalation until your forehead is on the mat.
  3. You can either move forward with your arms and stretch them out, rest them at your sides, or place your hands under your forehead.
  4. Close your eyes and breathe into your lower back. Stay in this position for 30 seconds to several minutes.
  5. To come out of the posture, exhale and roll up vertebra by vertebra into a seated position.
Woman doing child's pose (balasana)

Common Mistakes

  • Make sure your forehead is on the floor. If you can’t quite put it down, put your hands underneath or place a folded blanket under your buttocks.
  • The neck should remain in a neutral position. If the channel is bent, use a pillow, yoga block, or your hands under your forehead to take pressure off your neck.
  • Because the posture restricts breathing movement in the abdomen and chest, it can be easy to forget to breathe fully into the lungs. Be sure to let your breath flow deeply and calmly.
  • Wait at least an hour after eating before performing the pose.
  • If you have knee or ankle injuries, place a blanket under your knees or substitute the posture with another resting position, such as Savasana.

Expert Tips to Improve

  • Extend your arms and gently move your fingertips forward if you want a deeper stretch in the pose.
  • If the stretch in the hips is too intense, bring the knees closer together in the pose. If you want more intensity, move your knees further apart.
  • Make sure to keep your big toes together.
  • Let the breath flow calmly and bring attention to your lower back.

Variations and Modifications

  • Variation 1: Open the knees wider to push the arms between the legs and mindfully turn the head to the side.
  • Variation 2: Bring a pillow or yoga block under your forehead.
  • Variation 3: To trace, bring your buttocks to your heels, your forehead resting on the floor, and arms relaxing at your sides next to your body, palms facing up.
  • Variation 4: Place a yoga bolster between your inner thighs and slowly lower your upper body onto it. Bring your forehead or cheek to the cushion. A rolled-up blanket or pillow placed between the backs of your thighs and calves can provide additional support.

Modifications:

  • If you’re pregnant, bring your knees wide apart to allow room for your belly and reduce pressure on your abdomen.
  • If your knees are sensitive, place a folded blanket under your knees.
  • For an incredibly relaxing variation, place a pillow under the abdomen or chest and remain in the position for up to 10 minutes.
  • The posture is also great for balancing before or after the cobra pose.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is child’s pose good for?

This yoga pose is excellent as a resting pose for tracking between more active poses, relaxing the lower back, relieving stress, and calming the mind.

How long should you stay in child’s pose?

You can stay in the child’s pose for 4-8 deep breaths or even several minutes.

Is child’s pose good for lower back pain?

Child’s pose is one of the best yoga poses for relieving lower back tension through a gentle stretch.

Why is child’s pose so comforting?

While the focus is entirely inward and on one’s breath, external stimuli are blocked, and the mind calms.

Mag. Stephan Lederer, MSc. is an author and blogger from Austria who writes in-depth content about health and nutrition. His book series on Interval Fasting landed #1 on the bestseller list in the German Amazon marketplace in 15 categories.

Stephan is a true man of science, having earned multiple diplomas and master's degrees in various fields. He has made it his mission to bridge the gap between conventional wisdom and scientific knowledge. He precisely reviews the content and sources of this blog for currency and accuracy.

Click on the links above to visit his author and about me pages.

Leave a Reply