Feeling Tense? Child’s Pose Isn’t Just for Resting

When I speak with clients and fellow yoga enthusiasts about their favorite practice positions, Child’s Pose almost always comes up. Essentially a resting pose, this position is surprisingly multi-tasking, offering a deep stretch PLUS a much-needed break between more difficult articulations that require focused effort.

As with other positions, Child’s Pose (or “Balasana”) can be executed in more and less energetic ways.

For example, by resting forehead to mat and relaxing into the pose, you can enjoy a simple, effortless stretch for the upper arms and back. With a bit more attention to breath and alignment, you can literally feel the spine and arms lengthening, releasing pressure in the lower back and creating a sort of euphoric expansion in the upper torso and chest.

Here’s how to get the most out of Child’s Pose:

Begin in a kneeling position. Sitting back onto your feet, keep your bottom touching your heels as you fold forward, arms outstretched in front of you, reaching fingertips long.

Gently press palms to mat, creating a slight lift of the upper body.

Now, the key to maximizing this position lies in your breathing: inhale deeply, stretching fingertips longer with each exhale.

As your body elongates, continue to breathe as deeply as possible, opening the lungs and feeling the expansion in your upper back. The filling of your lungs exerts a gentle pressure on the back muscles, relieving tension and stress in the shoulders and neck while elongating tense and contracted muscles along the full length of your spine.

Sit in this position for at least 60 seconds, breathing in and out as you bring awareness to the torso muscles and feel them slowly release. Practice this position daily to reap its full benefits.

For a more in-depth look at the basics of this pose, check out this tutorial by the Yoga Journal online.

Disclaimer: Please seek advice from a medical professional before attempting this or any other yoga position. Yoga With Nick G assumes no liability for any injuries or issues that arise from following the advice of this blog.

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