Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing yoga for life.

Child's Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions


When you need to take a break and catch your breath in between tough standing asanas, core stretches and forward bends, then rest in Balasana.

Please note that if you need a break in between difficult backbends, then do not do Balasana. Catch your breath in Corpse Pose instead. Do Balasana only after your last backbend to prevent back injuries.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits Variations

Balasana

(Pronounced as "BAH-LAHS-anna")

Bala means "child" in Sanskrit. In this pose, you relax fully just like a child who has curled up into a little ball in their cradle.

How to do Child's Pose

Step One

Kneel down on your yoga mat. Place your feet so that the tops of both feet press down into the floor with your big toes touching each other, and you should keep your knees apart. Your knees should not be wider apart than your hips.

If you cannot sit comfortably on your heels because of chronic pain in the ankles, then roll a blanket and place it underneath the front of your ankles on the floor.

If you have knee problems that prevent you from sitting on your heels, then sit up on a height like one or two folded yoga blankets.

Step Two

Take a deep breath and exhale as you bend forward. Keep your buttocks pressed firmly down on your support or the floor as you rest your forehead on your yoga mat. If your hips are too tight to allow your head to reach the floor, then place a folded blanket or bolster under your forehead.

Now hold your wrists behind your lower back. Allow your clasped hands to rest down on your lower back, which helps the sacrum descend and releases tension in your hips. Lengthen your spine all the way up from your sacrum to your head as you keep breathing in a relaxed manner.

Step Three

After one minute, you should feel your belly and lower back have sunken down further toward the floor. Now you can release your hands from behind your back. Let your arms naturally drop down at your sides so that the forearms and fronts of your hands rest into the floor. This step allows you to release the tension in your shoulders. Stay here for at least 30 seconds.

Step Four

Since Balasana is a restorative pose, you should hold it for at least one minute or up to five minutes. To come out of the pose, inhale as you extend your front torso and lift yourself up from the tailbone, keeping your buttocks pressed down on your heels.

Beginner's Tip:

Deepen your breathing throughout your chest and diaphragm to relax further. With each inhalation, expand your chest toward the floor and lengthen your back. With each exhalation, let your neck release more and drop the weight of your head down a little more.

Child's Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Balasana

Pose Level:

Level 1

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Osteoarthritis in your knees
  • Bronchitis or breathing difficulties
  • Diarrhea
  • For recent knee injuries or pregnancy: Do not practice Child's Pose without an experienced teacher.

Modifications and Props:

If you have trouble dropping your torso down toward the floor, you can also place a bolster in front of you so that your belly and torso rest on top of the bolster when you bend forward. Then put a pillow on top of the bolster to support your forehead, allowing space for you to breathe comfortably.

Child's Pose Benefits

  • Improves flexibility in the hips, ankles and thighs
  • Alleviates dizziness, fatigue and headaches
  • Releases tension in your back and neck to reduce chronic pain
  • Calms and relaxes women during menstruation

Child's Pose Variations

Go deeper into the pose by reaching forward with both of your arms as far as you can. This position is extended Child's Pose, which is actually Adho Mukha Virasana. Lift your head slightly to rest on your chin, allowing your chest to expand and come down even lower toward the floor. As you stretch forward, keep your buttocks grounded firmly on your heels.

Partnering:

To get a more complete release in your back during Child's Pose, ask a partner to stand behind you. Have them press one hand on the middle of your lower back directly above your ankles. With their other hand, they can gently press in between your shoulder blades. They should use their fingers to gently push their hands in opposite directions without sliding their hands out of position, creating length in your back muscles.

Next Pose:

Cobra Pose

9 styles | 152 poses

Beginner Yoga Poses

Bharadvaja's Twist Pose
Big Toe Pose
Boat Pose
Bound Angle Pose
Bow Pose
Bridge Pose
Camel Pose
Cat Pose
Chair Pose
Child's Pose
Cobra Pose
Corpse Pose
Cow Pose
Cow Face Pose
Crow Pose
Dolphin Plank Pose
Downward Dog Pose
Eagle Pose
Eight Angle Pose
Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Extended Puppy Pose
Extended Side Angle Pose
Firefly Pose
Fish Pose
Garland Pose
Half Frog Pose
Half Lord of the Fishes Pose
Half Moon Pose
Yoga Handstand
Happy Baby Pose
Head To Knee Pose
High Lunge Pose
Legs Up The Wall Pose
Locust Pose
Lotus Pose
Shoulder Pressing Pose
Low Lunge Pose
Monkey Pose
Mountain Pose
Noose Pose
Plank Pose
Plow Pose
Sage Koundinya I Pose
Sage Marichi's Pose
Reclining Bound Angle Pose
Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
Revolved Triangle Pose
Revolved Head to Knee Pose
Reclining Hero Pose
Scale Pose
Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose
Peacock Pose
Pyramid Pose
Crescent Lunge Pose
Heron Pose
Hero Pose
Feathered Peacock Pose
Staff Pose
Seated Forward Bend Pose
Four Limbed Staff Pose
Revolved Side Angle Pose
Wild Thing Pose
Side Crow Pose
Side Plank Pose
Sphinx Pose
Supported Headstand (Sirsasana)
Tree Pose
Standing Split
Supported Shoulderstand
Standing Half Forward Bend
Triangle Pose
Upward Plank Pose
Upward Facing Two Foot Staff Pose
Wheel Pose
Upward Salute Pose
Upward Facing Dog Pose
Warrior I Pose
Warrior II Pose
Warrior III Pose
Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend
Easy Pose
Gate Pose
Wide Legged Forward Fold
Dancer Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose
One-Legged King Pigeon Pose II
Marichi's Pose
Fire Log Pose
Standing Forward Bend
Pose Dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II

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