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.
Ardha Uttanasana: Half Standing Forward Bend
An effective stretch for your hamstrings and calves ardha uttanasana (ARE-dah OOT-tan-AHS-anna), is often used during vinyasa sequences to connect the breath as you flow from one posture to the next.
Philosophy + Origin
One of the reasons ardha uttanasana is used so much in vinyasa yoga classes is that it positions the body for chaturanga dandasana. Because it engages the navel and core, it’s a powerful pose for warming up the body, which is why it’s included in warm-up sequences. Despite its sometimes transitory nature, the pose also engages the navel chakra (manipura), which can bring the practitioner increased confidence and willpower.