Child’s pose (Balasana) is a nourishing and peaceful pose that often opens a traditional Journey into Power sequence. During an extensive yoga practice, you can also come into child’s pose at any time to rest and restore between challenging asanas. The ease and surrender available in child’s pose amidst a powerful, sweaty yoga class, teaches us that we need this kind relaxation and rejuvenation even during our daily hustle outside the yoga studio.
The benefits of child’s pose are many, and just as coming into child’s pose can be your moment of rest during yoga practice, it can also be your go-to pose at any other time to help relieve stress and tension and calm your monkey mind.
When you come into child’s pose, your body mimics the fetal position, the time of ultimate rest, rejuvenation, and growth. The pose stretches and elongates the spine and relaxes the tension in your chest, neck, and shoulders. When you rest your third-eye chakra on the mat or on the floor, this action sends an instant relaxation message to your brain, and the inward fold of your body in this position sends signals to your brain that it is safe to surrender.
The key here is allowing your body to relax when it needs it. During the normal hustle of your day, child’s pose can bring much needed restoration. You can come into child’s pose in the middle of the busy parts of your day or the parts that may be stressful or overwhelming. You might say, “Of course, I can get into child’s pose, but my brain won’t stop bouncing around,” yet child’s pose can be the answer to calming a restless mind as well. While in child’s pose, focus on your breath and the rising and falling of your chest. Send your breath to areas of tension and unrest. During the normal course of the day, you probably don’t focus on your breath all that much, for it is involuntary; you will breathe whether you intend to or not. When you breathe with intention, your mind can’t help but slow down. And if your mind wanders in child’s pose, just let it go, and come back to your intentional focus on your breath.
Try incorporating child’s pose during moments of greatest tension or unrest in your life, even if you don’t have the time for an entire yoga class. Give yourself permission to relax and rejuvenate despite your responsibilities and your schedule tugging you in different directions. Your body will thank you for this by nourishing your cells, calming your brain, and strengthening your inner power.