Balasana, or "child's pose" is a pose we come to often in practice when we want to settle into our mat, slow the heart-rate after strength or cardio, or as a much needed breather! The pose is called Child's pose because you form the shape of a baby, and your spine is curved naturally like a fetus.
It stretches out the entire body, and takes care of those areas we often neglect. (who knew our ankles could benefit from stretching?) The more obvious areas that benefit from this pose are the neck, shoulders and spine. We tend to hold so much stress in these areas, meaning they become very tight and rigid. This can lead to a hunched posture or even tension aches/pains. When stretching out into Child's pose, you are allowing these areas to release and let go of the tension. You will feel lighter and more flexible in these areas.
Another great benefit of child's pose is the increase/ improvement of blood flow and circulation. When you think about getting the blood pumping, you may automatically assume you need to partake in an intense cardio workout, or another strenuous exercise that gets your heart rate up. Myth busted! Whilst these do obviously get the blood moving, they aren't the only way. Child's pose is a restorative pose, meaning its great for pushing the blood into more focused areas such as the brain, spine and organs, but without massively increasing the heart rate (great for if you suffer with any heart conditions!) This can help with so many core factors such as removing carbon dioxide from the brain (Improved focus and memory/general brain function) promote healing in the spine/prevent pain and injury and improved organ function (all organs, yes please!).
Whatever de-floats your bloat
It keeps getting better. Bloating and other gut problems can really cause discomfort, mentally and physically (Erm WHY won't my jeans do up :0 ?!?). Child's pose can help ease the symptoms of gut issues. As you are folded on/over your thighs, the stomach is rested. As you breathe, this area recieves stimulation and activates digestion.
Child's pose is great, but should be avoided by someone who has one or more of these health conditions: Pregnancy, knee injury, stomach infection, spondylitis (inflammation in your spinal bones, or vertebrae), ankle injury.
- Put a blanket under the ankles, to make it a little bit more cosy!
- Rest over a bolster or a pillow, (but try not to fall asleep...)
- If the pose feels too tight on the ankles, puppy pose is a great alternative.