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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Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II Pose

Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Warrior II, or virabhadrasana (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna) II, is a strengthening pose that improves physical and mental endurance. Its ability to stretch your upper legs and ankles while also expanding your chest and shoulders makes it an essential foundational pose for most asana-based (pose-based) yoga practices.

Philosophy + Origin

While warrior II is a strong pose, it also requires balance and steadiness. Although many origin stories for virabhadrasana II describe the shape of the pose as the stance Virabhadra took as he drew his sword to remove the head of his enemy, any student who has practiced the pose will learn that, while fierce, there’s also a gentleness within the physical lines. The yogic philosophy of sthira sukha, or balancing effort with ease, can be applied when practicing warrior II. How can you harness your warrior spirit while not losing sight of your gentle spirit and your commitment to ahimsa, non-violence?

Read Article

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