When would put Child’s Pose into the category of basic yoga poses. While it’s true it’s a pose that requires little effort and is easy to do, there may be some challenges to balasana that you may not realize. Read on for details on how to do Child’s Pose, and more importantly how to make it more comfortable.
I’ll answer the questions on whether the arms should reach forward or back. Should the knees be wide or narrow? What should you do if you have knee issues and can’t fold fully down? Or have problems with ankle mobility? All this and more, in the video below!
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How to do Child’s Pose
Begin kneeling on all fours, with the knees hip distance apart. Toes pointing to the back of your mat. Draw the navel to the spin and sit the hips back to the heels, resting the torso on the thighs. Tuck the chin in and rest the forhead on the floor. Reach the arms back, relaxing the shoulders.
Once in the pose allow the breath to expand the back body and bring an awareness into your position. Into your connection to the floor. Notice:
- Does the torso connect to the thighs?
- Where is the forehead connected to the floor?
- How do the arms and shoulders feel?
- Is there any discomfort in the knees or hips?
- Are the back of the thighs touching the calves?
- Is there space between the ankle and the floor?
- How do the lower back and hips feel?
- Overall is the pose comfortable?
- If not, where is the discomfort?
Modifications for Child’s Pose
One of the common things in Child’s Pose is knee pain. This can come in a couple of ways. The first is simply the pressure of the front of the knee/shin on the hard floor. To remedy this use a folded blanket under the legs.
The second way knee pain presents itself is through reduced range of movement in the joint. What do you do if you find you attempt to sit back and can’t sit the bum down? Roll a blanket up, then place it in the space!
This may be all that’s needed to ease the tension of the knees. Another tip here may be that you need a wider knee base, so take the knees wider than hip distance.
USE PROPS IN CHILD’S POSE FOR COMFORT, SUPPORT AND STABILITY
If you find your ankles are lifted away from the floor and are feeling discomfort there is a way to find more peace. Again, grab your blanket and roll it up, placing it underneath the ankles. This support takes the pressure off the joints when you sit back.ou can also work on your ankle mobility by releasing muscles along the shins.
Many times in child’s pose people assume their arms are meant to reach forward. As with all poses there are variations of balasana. The basic version is arms reaching back, extended child’s pose the arms reach forward. Neither is better than the other, or “advanced”, simply do what you feel you need at the moment.
If you still struggle to sit back, perhaps this variation using a bolster would work? Again widen the knees, bring the torso to rest on the bolster. This is a great variation for larger bodies.
This should be a restful pose, as such one thing I want to clarify is the position of the lower back in child’s pose. It can be rounded, it can be ‘flat’ but avoid arching. So play with the knee position. Hip-distance is a guide you may need them wider, or narrower. Experience the pose both ways.
Taking the knees wide, for many, may relieve some knee issues. It can also feel nice in the hips or for those with larger bodies. This is ideal for pregnancy too.
However for some, like me, this can lose the subtle rounding in the back. My experience in the wide legged variation is that my lower back muscles begin to ‘grip’ in the pose and I can’t relax.
So, for those of us that are on the more bendy side, or experience tight back muscles, try the opposite. Draw the knees in together, then sit back. How does that feel? My own experience is that legs together gives me more stretch into the muscles along the back.
Experience, notice, then modify for what YOU need in the pose
The bottom line is, there is no one-size-fits-all alignment for any pose. Take pose alignment cues as fluid. Try them, experience them, notice what is happening in YOUR body, and adjust as needed.
- How do you feel in Child’s Pose?
- Do you prefer knees wide or narrow?
- Are there any tight muscles in your body?