Balasana: Child’s Pose

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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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Ardha Chandrasana: Half Moon Pose

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ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS   |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Ardha chandrasana (ARE-dah chan-DRAHS-anna), or half moon pose, is a challenging balance posture. However, there are many modifications and variations to make the shape accessible to everyone.

Philosophy + Origin

The Sanskrit word “chandra” is often translated simply as “moon,” and actually has a much richer meaning. More than just the moon, the chandra refers to something that is glittering and shining, a brilliant object that is illuminated by light or emanating light on its own. In many traditional yogic texts and stories, the moon symbolizes one half of the two polar energies in the body. The moon, which is the feminine or dark aspect, is nurturing, tranquil, and receptive.

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