Yoga

Child’s Pose (Shishuasana or Balasana)

Posted: May 16, 2018

Child's Pose — Shishu (sh-i-sh-u-sa-na) or Balasana (ba-LAH-sa-na) — is a restorative forward bending pose that stretches the thighs and ankles, calms the nervous system, and relieves stress and fatigue. The posture gets its name from the Sanskrit words Bala, meaning child, and asana, meaning pose.

Level of Difficulty: Easy

Step-by-Step Instructions

  • Sit on your heels. Keeping your hips on your heels, bend forward and lower your forehead to the floor.
  • Keep your arms alongside your body with hands on the floor, palms facing up. (If this is not comfortable, you can place one fist on top of the other and rest your forehead on them).
  • Gently press your chest on your thighs.
  • Hold
  • Slowly raise your abdomen, uncurling your spine vertebra by vertebra and come to sit on your heels

Benefits

  • Provides deep relaxation for the back
  • Relieves constipation
  • Calms the nervous system
  • Stretches the thighs and ankles

Precautions

  • Serious back or knee injuries
  • Pregnancy
  • Recent or current diarrhea

Modifications and Variations

  • To Modify: Depending upon your level of energy, try out variations of Child’s Pose for the upper body. Arms can be extended in front of you with elbows off the ground, extended and resting with elbows on the ground, or alongside your torso as described above.
  • To increase the challenge: For a more intense hip stretch, separate your knees as wide as your yoga mat with your big toes touching.

Follow-up and Preparatory Poses

  • Hero Pose | Virasana (Preparatory)
  • Corpse Pose | Savasana (Follow Up)

While a regular yoga practice can result in improved health, know that it is not a substitute for medical treatment. It is important to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained teacher. In the case of a medical condition, practice yoga after consulting a doctor. Do you need information on courses? Contact us at programs@us.artofliving.org to find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you.

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