Balasana: Child’s Pose

Balasana: Child’s Pose

Balasana (bah-LAHS-ah-nah) is a gentle resting pose that stretches the low back, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles while inviting release of stress and tension. Balasana’s dome shape provides an opportunity to refocus and focus on yourself.

Sanskrit:

  • Bala: child
  • Asana: pose

Physical Benefits:

  • Gently stretches the low back, hips, thighs, knees, and ankles.
  • Relaxes the spine, shoulders, and neck.
  • Increases blood circulation to your head, which may relieve headaches.

Energetic Benefits:

  • Calms the mind and central nervous system.
  • Relieves stress, fatigue, and tension.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Tabletop pose
  • Cat pose

Sequential Poses:

  • Puppy dog pose | Anahatasana
  • Seated forward fold | Paschimottanasana
  • Hero’s pose | Virasana

Counter Poses:

Adjustments/Modifications:

  • Place your forehead on your fist or a cushion if your head does not easily rest on the floor.
  • If your knees are uncomfortable, place a cushion between your hips and your heels for support.
  • If your ankles or feet are uncomfortable, place a thin cushion or rolled up towel under your ankles.

Step-By-Step:

  1. Start in a tabletop shape, on your hands and knees.
  2. Release the tops of your feet to the floor and bring your knees wider than your hips, big toes touching.
  3. Slowly lower your hips towards your heels.
  4. Walk your hands forward and rest your head on the floor or a prop.
  5. Take several slow breaths into your belly and chest.
  6. Gently release back to tabletop.

 

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Utkatasana: Chair Pose

Utkatasana: Chair Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

A challenging pose with hidden benefits, utkatasana (OOT-kah-TAHS-anna) works your body inside and out. Aside from strengthening your legs, this powerful pose also improves the health of your diaphragm and stimulates your heart. Practicing regularly will not only increase your physical endurance, it also encourages your chest and arms to open, creating more space in your body energetically.

Philosophy + Origin

While sitting in a chair is a common act for most of us today, chairs were once, and in some locations still are, considered a luxury. A throne in particular is a seat of power, one assumed by leaders around the world. The pose utkatasana, translated to mean powerful pose, invites individuals to sit on their throne, their seat of power. Embracing the challenge of the pose, and recognizing the strength that is generated when assumed thoughtfully and in proper alignment (physically and spiritually), you can begin to refine all aspects of your life, allowing yourself to step into roles of leadership and responsibility with clarity and confidence.

Read Article

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