Beautiful Balasana – how we all love you. That pose we come back to again and again over the course of our practice that allows us to cool and reconnect to the breath. The benefits of this posture are paramount. Not only does it do beautiful things for the body, but it allows the mind to resettle and open up to the earth. Here are a few of my favorite tips for practicing this posture to allow that inner child a moment of peace – every time.
For the Body (variations): You can practice balasana with the arms outstretched or down by the sides. Of course, you will need to honor what your body needs and always chat with your teacher before making any adjustments.
With the arms down to the sides, you’re really going to encourage the shoulder blades to slide apart, relieving tension in the shoulders and upper back. If your arms and shoulders are fatiguing during your practice – I would recommend pulling the arms in and down to the sides.
If you’re looking for more activity, reaching the arms forward will allow for deeper stretching along sides of the spine – encouraging the posture to be more about the length in the spine versus the shoulders.
There are also two variations for the legs as well. In balasana, the knees are closed, creating a small hump for the upper body to drape over. There is also extended child pose (utthita balasana) which brings the knees wide and the big toes to touch, allowing the chest to drop between the knees and the belly to soften toward the ground.
All combinations provide a beautiful release for the body and mind – put them together however you like! Play with your inner child!
For the Mind:
Let go of fatigue, fear, and frustration (the big ‘F’ bombs) by using this posture to visualize release. Place the forehead directly on your mat (no matter the arm variation your practicing) and begin to breathe into the back body. Direct the breath into the lower lobes of the lungs and steady the body. As you rest, imagine that the third eye – the connected portion of the forehead to the mat – opens up into a conduit to the center of the earth. As this connection strengthens, allow any thoughts that are no longer in your service (the big ‘F’ bombs) to pour into the earth. Watch as they tunnel deep beneath the surface, into the soil, and burn up in the earths core. Mother Earth is big and powerful, remember she can handle anything that you cannot or should not be carrying and hand them over. When you’re thoughts have cleared, begin to close the third eye and you press through the hands and move into your next posture. You don’t have to be in class to come into Balasana and release these feelings. Come to it, safe in your own lap, anytime you need grounding and release.
Find a little love- connect with Mother Earth as her Child.
Child’s Pose; Balasana