How to Perform Child Pose in Yoga

Two Parts:Practicing Child's PoseModifying Child's Pose

If you're familiar with a variety of yoga poses, you've probably heard of child's pose. This resting or restorative pose (also known as balasana in Sanskrit) is great for meditating. This is because it is a simple yet comfortable pose. You can also perform child's pose to get a resting period in between other poses. Child's pose also stretches your lower back, hips, thighs, and ankles while helping to improve circulation.[1]

Part 1
Practicing Child's Pose

  1. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 1
    Kneel on your hands and knees. It may help to start in downward facing dog position on a yoga mat. Kneel and bring your big toes together so they're touching. Move your knees apart so they're about hip-distance apart.[2]
    • Some instructors recommend keeping your knees together. While you can do this, moving your knees apart will allow you to stretch deeper into the pose.
  2. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 2
    Breathe out and lower yourself down. Exhale slowly and move your bottom down so that it rests between your thighs (or on top of your ankles, if keeping your knees together).[3]
    • You should feel your tailbone lengthen away from your pelvis.
  3. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 3
    Bring your forehead to the floor. Place your hands on the mat in front of you. Lean forward until your chest is resting on your thighs and your forehead touches the floor. Your back should be raised up and the muscles in your neck should be lengthened.
    • If you're flexible, you may not need to put your hands in front of you to guide you down to the mat. Simply control your torso as you bend forward.
  4. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 4
    Position your arms. You can bring your arms to your sides so that they stay snug with your torso. This can help you feel more relaxed and secure. You could also bring your arms directly out in front of you.[4]
    • Keeping your arms in front can help you stretch and keep your tailbone lengthened.
  5. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 5
    Breathe and hold the pose. Rest in child's pose while you take slow breaths into your belly. You can hold this pose for 30 seconds to a few minutes. Relax and focus on your breathing and awareness while in child's pose.[5][6]
    • To release the pose, inhale while bringing your torso back up. You should feel your tailbone press down while you raise yourself back up to sitting position.

Part 2
Modifying Child's Pose

  1. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 6
    Determine if you should be doing child's pose. Child's pose is one of the most basic yoga poses and most individuals can successfully perform the pose. But, there are some people who should not do child's pose. Avoid doing child's pose if:[7]
    • You're pregnant
    • You have diarrhea
    • You have ankle problems
    • You've had a knee injury or problems with cartilage
    • You have high blood pressure or ear or eye infections
  2. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 7
    Make the pose comfortable for stiff joints. The main goal of doing this pose is to relax and focus in comfort. If you find that your joints are stiff, making the pose uncomfortable, skip kneeling before moving into the pose. Instead, start by sitting cross-legged in easy pose or kneeling with your bottom over a block in hero pose. These can reduce the amount of pressure you're putting on your joints.[8]
    • You might feel more comfortable doing this pose in the evening since your body is stiffer in the morning and loosens up as the day goes on.
  3. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 8
    Increase the stretch of your torso. While this is mainly a resting pose, you can also do child's pose to stretch the muscles in your torso. To do so, bring your arms out in front of you while lifting your bottom up a little bit. Stretch your arms forward as you bring your shoulder blades back. Keep your arms where they are and sit your bottom back down on your heels or as far back as it will go.[9][10]
    • This stretch is also a helpful way to do the pose if you have a larger body or have trouble putting weight on your knees.
  4. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 9
    Rest your forehead on your hands. If you're having trouble bringing your forehead completely down to the floor, don't overextend yourself. You could pull a muscle. Instead, bring your arms together so that your hands meet in the middle. Ball your hands into fists and rest your forehead on your fists instead of the floor.[11]
    • If you're still having trouble, stack your fists on top of each other to further raise your arms off the ground.
  5. Image titled Perform Child Pose in Yoga Step 10
    Use pillows and cushions. You can strategically place rolled up towels, small cushions or pillows to support your limbs during deep stretches. For example, you might want to fold a thick blanket under your back thighs and calves if sitting on your ankles is uncomfortable.[12][13]
    • You could also place a pillow under your bottom so that it rests on your ankles. This can help if you feel like you're unbalanced and might fall forward while doing the pose.

Things You'll Need

  • Yoga mat
  • Towel, cushions, or pillows (optional)

Article Info

Categories: Yoga