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Child's Pose (balasana)

Seated forward bend that stretches your spine and lower back.
 

Child's Pose (or balasana) is a seated forward bend that stretches and releases your spine and lower back. You can use this pose as a warm-up pose, a resting pose or a counter pose after performing a back bend.
 
While performing Child's Pose, you should feel your spine lengthen as you drop the weight of your hips toward your heels and relax your head to the floor. Make sure you do not rest your weight on your neck and forehead. You should also breathe evenly while performing the pose and visualize your body softening with each breath.
 
To stretch your shoulders in this pose, you can extend your arms forward, instead of placing them by your sides. If your forehead does not reach the floor or if you feel too much pressure on your forehead in this pose, you can rest your forehead on your folded arms.
 
Child's Pose is a simple pose that is comfortable and safe for almost everyone. However, you should avoid this pose if you have knee problems or high blood pressure.
 
Steps:
Begin in Table Pose.
Maintaining the position of your hands, exhale as you sit back onto your heels and lay your upper body on your thighs.
Rest your forehead on the floor.
Place your arms by your sides, with your hands by your feet and your palms facing up.
Exhale as you release your hips toward your heels and feel your spine lengthening.
Hold the pose for 15 seconds to 2 minutes.
To come out of the pose, inhale as you press your hands into the floor to lift yourself to a seated position.
 
Modification 1:
You can perform Child's Pose with your arms extended. This modification is known as Extended Child's Pose and stretches your shoulders, back and hips. Perform Child's Pose, except leave your arms extended and relax your shoulders and arms toward the floor.
 
Modification 2:
You can perform Child's Pose with your forehead resting on your arms. This is useful if your forehead does not reach the floor or you feel too much pressure on your forehead while performing the pose. Perform Child's Pose, except fold your arms in front of you and rest your forehead on your arms.
 
Can I modify Child's Pose to make the pose more relaxing?
Yes. You can use a bolster to make this pose more relaxing and restorative. Move your knees wider than hip width apart and place a bolster between your knees. You can then rest your upper body, arms and head on the bolster. This modification is also useful if you are pregnant or very overweight.
 
I cannot sit back onto my heels in Child's Pose. What can I do?
If you cannot sit back onto your heels in this pose, you can place a thickly folded blanket between your heels and buttocks and sit on the blanket. Sitting on a folded blanket can also help reduce any strain you may be experiencing in your knees and hips. If you still find Child's Pose uncomfortable, you can perform Little Boat Pose instead.
 
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