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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Hanumanasana: Front Splits Pose

ADJUSTMENTS    |     BENEFITS    |     SEQUENCING    |     SANSKRIT    |     STEPS

Hanumanasana (hah-new-mahn-AHS-ah-nah) honors the great leap made by Hanuman, the famous monkey god from the Ramayana, across the ocean from India to the mountains of Sri Lanka. Front splits pose demands flexibility, strength, and stability.

Philosophy + Origin

More than just an incredible leap, Hanuman is remembered, celebrated, and worshiped because of his great devotion and courage. To be devoted, one must be bold enough to stand firmly in their beliefs, selflessly serving others and putting others’ needs above their own.

Because of its physical demands, it’s easy to get caught up in “achieving” the outward appearance of the posture. As such, it’s important to keep your ego in check as you dedicate yourself to the posture. Above all, invite kindness and selflessness to flow freely from the posture. As you practice, ask yourself how you can embody Hanuman’s devotion both in your physical yoga practice and your everyday life.

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