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.
- Bala: child
- Asana: pose
- 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.
- Calms the mind and central nervous system.
- Relieves stress, fatigue, and tension.
- Tabletop pose
- Cat pose
- Puppy dog pose | Anahatasana
- Seated forward fold | Paschimottanasana
- Hero’s pose | Virasana
- Cow pose
- Sphinx pose | Salamba bhujangasana
- 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.
- Start in a tabletop shape, on your hands and knees.
- Release the tops of your feet to the floor and bring your knees wider than your hips, big toes touching.
- Slowly lower your hips towards your heels.
- Walk your hands forward and rest your head on the floor or a prop.
- Take several slow breaths into your belly and chest.
- Gently release back to tabletop.
Paschimottanasana: Seated Forward Bend Pose
ADJUSTMENTS | BENEFITS | SEQUENCING | SANSKRIT | STEPS
Paschimottanasana (POSH-ee-moh-tan-AHS-ah-nah) invites space to the hamstrings and lower back as well as the mind. While there’s no need to touch your toes in this pose, practicing regularly can help lengthen the muscles in the legs and back to encourage flexibility and ease.
Philosophy + Origin
Paschimottanasana is one of the earliest-known yoga postures, dating back to the Yoga Pradipika. This pose is commonly known as seated forward bend or seated forward fold, but is also referred to as the stretch of the West, referring to the back side of the body.