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Yoga Poses
– Childs pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose – time to take a rest

However long (or short) amount of time you have been practicing yoga, it is more than likely you will need to come into child’s pose.  Often when  beginners start yoga, it may be that they feel the need to come into Child’s pose more often – if that’s the case, that’s completely fine.

But why do I think it is so important?

Firstly, joining a yoga class, is about your own practice, and it certainly isn’t meant to be competitive with the other people  that are also doing the class – be it in a yoga studio or as part of an online yoga class.

What this means, is that sometimes it is good to, if not required, to take a break or a rest.

As yoga teachers, we often refer to or say ‘listen to your body’ – then child’s pose is the recommended position for you to take a break, refocus on your breathing and return the class when you are ready. 

From a personal perspective, when I see someone coming into Child’s Pose, it shows that the yoga student is confident enough in themselves, their yoga practice and also the comfortable in the yoga studio to take the rest. 

It’s also means that the yoga student is working hard and looking to test themselves – in essence, making progress (in whatever shape for form that takes). As yoga instructors, we find that the pose is particuarly helpful in our more strength based vinyasa flow classes. Shannon may however use the pose in her yin yoga classes, but hold for a longer period of time to go deep into the stretches rather than to allow rest or recovery.

Yoga sequences – less can be more…

As a yoga student, we all need to remember that our bodies will feel different from one day to another – you may be feeling tired from working out, a lack of sleep, burning the candle at both ends or are just not feeling it that day. Whatever the reason, you can always return to childs pose.

The most important thing is that you have taken the time out to fit in a yoga practice into your day. I find it is a bit like running – the harder it is to get out and start the run, more often than not, the more rewarding I find the run itself.

Remember – unlike some of yoga sequences you may see on social media, 99% of us that do yoga are not gymnasts or ex dancers and are unlikely to be able to do many of the striking yoga poses you see on whichever platform.

Back to Chid’s pose and some variations you can try, depending on how you are feeling or what your practice has included.

Tips for doing Balasana

  • When do 
    • at the start of a class to help focus on the practce ahead
    • at any point in a class if you want to take rest or reset in the yoga sequence
  • How long should I hold the pose?
    • as long as you need to, to feel ready to restart the class
  • Remember to breath!
    • Inhale and exhale through the nose
    • Allow your breathing to find a steady, regular rhythm
  • Stretches – spine, shoulders, hips, thighs and ankles
  • Which variation should I use?
    • Whichever feels most comfortable to you
    • You may want to use as a counter stretch based on some of the yoga poses you have been doing

This and Main Picture

Reaching the arms forward helps to stretch the shoulders and lengthen the spine, whilst allowing the forehead to rest on the mat. You’ll also notice that my knees are mat’s width apart. As with any of the variations, your knees can be together, mats width apart or anywhere in between.

Holding your heals

This pose allows you to stretch the spine as it arches backwards as you draw your bottom to your heals and heals to bottom. You can see that my bottom and heals are not touching, but you can be assured I’m getting good back stretch.

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