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Child pose - Balasana

I personally find child pose one of the most relaxing and calming positions while some of my students have a love/hate relationship with this position.

I would like to show a couple of modifications here to make the pose accessible to everyone.

Variations in the pose can be 1, arms extended forward, forehead resting on a, the mat b, on your arms or c, on a block, making sure that the forehead is supported. Arms can also rest by the side of the body, palms facing upwards, 2. a, with or b, without a block

1.a 1.b 1.c

2.a 2.b

If the top of the feet or front of the ankles are sensitive you can prop them up with a blanket or a towel (3.). Another variation is when your hips are far away from your heels you can also add a folded blanket/towel/bolster under the hips (4). Or you can go all out for a full restorative version with bolster under head, blankets added wherever needed, head turned sideways (5)

3. 4. 5.

Just make sure to be nice and relaxed :)!

Lets look at what are the benefits of this posture:

- Calming for the mind - activating the third eye (area between the eyebrows) by resting it on the mat/your arms/block has an instant calming and soothing effect on the brain. It is a forward fold, which promotes turning our attention inward, also calming for the mind.

- Great for the digestion (legs close together version) - with the knees close together the belly is resting on the thighs and each breath gently massages the internal organs, the intestinal tract, which helps to activate our digestion fire.

- Elongates the lower back - by sitting at a desk all day or spending a lot of time standing there may be compression in the back. Child pose allows us the lengthening and stretching of the spine.

- Releasing the hips (legs wide apart version) - hips tend to store emotional baggage, by taking the knees wide apart so that the belly relaxes between them, we get a nice stretch and opening through the hips. With inhalation expanding, the belly rising, with exhalation releasing any tension from the hip area.

- It reminds us to rest - to stop and reflect, check in with the quality of our breathing, the state of the mind, the sensations in the body, the feelings arising. Taking time in our practice to pause and observe what is happening is one of the most important aspects. Child pose reminds us of that, which we may remember to practice in our every day life as well, off the mat. There is a time for activity and there is a time for restoration.

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