Saturday, May 21, 2011

Quick Tip to Reduce Stress: Child's Pose

*deep sigh*
child's pose, also known as balasana (bala meaning 'child' in sanskrit), is probably one of the most restorative and relaxing of all yoga poses. it reminds the body of what it felt like like to be completely at ease in the womb curled safely in fetal position with heart gently beating on thighs. it calms the brain while gently stretching the thighs, hips and ankles. according to yoga journal, since we don't often consciously breathe fully into the back of our torso this pose is a great way to isolate deep full breaths between the back shoulder blades. (it's amazing when you realize how much space there actually is back there to breathe!) play around with the pose and what feels best for your body. spreading the knees wider apart may allow your chest to sink deeper, giving your low back a different kind of a stretch. you can also do a variation of the pose with your arms over your head and palms resting on the floor as seen here.

to get into the pose...

  1. start in a kneeling position
  2. sink your butt to rest on your heels
  3. spread your knees to match the width of your mat (keeping your big toes touching)
  4. lay your belly onto your thighs, resting your forehead on your mat
  5. you can either float your arms out in front of you with palms on the mat, or lay your arms back along your thighs with your palms facing up
  6. breathe deep full belly breaths and enjoy

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