Child’s Pose, or Balasana, is one of the most common and accessible yoga poses. It’s also one of the most helpful for beginners. Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to practice, regardless of age, fitness level, or experience with yoga as a whole. If you’re new to yoga, Child’s Pose is a great place to start. Not only is it an excellent way to begin your practice (and many other types of yoga), but it also has a ton of benefits that extend far beyond the simple stretch that it offers.
The Benefits of Child’s Pose
As we mentioned earlier, Child’s Pose is one of the most easy-to-learn poses there is. That doesn’t mean it’s not an incredibly beneficial yoga pose, though. In fact, it has a ton of benefits for both your mental and physical health. Let’s take a look at just a few of them.
- It is a great way to start your yoga practice. It’s also useful as a cool-down after yoga, as well as something to practice if you’re sick (Great for helping with sinus issues).
- Good for your digestive system, as well as for your heart and lungs.
- Help you relax and let go of stress and anxiety, as well as mental fatigue brought on by everyday life.
- Improve sleep, balance and mental/emotional health. 
- Help you improve your posture, especially if you do it regularly, as well as strengthen your lower back.
- This exercise stretches your piriformis muscle, which is found deep in your butt.
Child’s Pose Step by Step Instructions
1. Start by sitting on the ground with your knees bent.Spread your knees as wide as apart while keeping your big toes touching.
2. Your knees should be approximately as high as your hips (or higher, depending on your flexibility).
3. Next, you’ll want to bring your feet together, and then place your shins on top of your thighs (or just below your knees if your feet don’t reach).
4. Once you’re in the pose, you can rest your head and forearms on the ground. Then, deep breaths.
5. As with any other type of stretching, as a beginner you should hold this position for just 10 seconds at first.
6. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you can increase the time you stay in it. You can ultimately hold it for as long as you like.
Common Mistakes of Child’s Pose for Beginners
While Child Pose is very easy to learn for beginners, it is often used as a resting position in between more difficult poses during a yoga practice, there are some mistakes that people often make when practicing it. If you don’t have much experience with yoga yet, here are a few things to be mindful of:
- Don’t let your hips sink too low. If you let them sink too low, you could strain your lower back.
- Don’t stick your head out so far that it hurts.
- Don’t stick your butt out so far that it hurts.
- Keep your knees directly below the hips, not splayed outwards or inwards (which can cause hip pain).
- Make sure your head is aligned over the torso (not tilted forward or backwards). You should be able to draw a straight line from the buttocks all the way through the neck and up into the crown of the head.
- Make sure that you keep breathing throughout this pose—it will help if you focus on taking deep breaths in and out of your nose as well as keeping a soft smile on your face.
- Remember that it is meant to be relaxing; don’t rush through it or push yourself too hard with it.
Child’s Pose Cautions
As with all yoga poses, you may want to check with your doctor before practicing it or any other yoga poses if you have a specific medical condition or are on certain medications. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you have certain health issues.
- If you have lower back pain, knee injury, or are pregnant, you may want to avoid to so, as it can put some added pressure on your lower back.
- If you have high blood pressure, you may want to avoid it as well, as it can put added stress on your heart.
Knee problems or any other problems related to your knees can be alleviated by doing child’s pose. If you are unable to sit on your heels, try sitting on a folded blanket or yoga mat. – If you are unable to sit on your heels and a blanket isn’t helping either, try sitting on top of two yoga blocks or stacked books.
If you are unable to keep your back straight in it for any reason (such as if you have neck pain), try placing extra padding behind your back for support or using a folded blanket for support. You can also place a bolster under the soles of your feet if that feels better.
Child’s Pose II
This variation is great if it is too stressful on your knees; it will put more weight onto the muscles at the front of the thighs instead and allow them to relax while stretching the hamstrings, calves, and ankles. If you have knee problems, this modification may be more comfortable than the traditional and may even be better for you than other poses such as Half-Lotus or Hero’s Pose!
Step 1: From the Child’s Pose with both legs extended out in front of you, bring one foot in towards your butt.
Step 2: Bring the other leg in towards your butt, so that both legs are now in an ‘X’ shape.
Step 3: Bring your hands out in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor.
Step 4: If this pose is too deep for you, place a block or a blanket underneath your knees to keep them from going too far back.
Wide-Legged Child’s Pose
This variation is great for stretching the inner thighs, groin and hips. It also provides some relief for menstrual cramps and lower back pain!
Step 1: From Child’s Pose, extend both legs out wide . Try to keep your toes pointing forward as much as possible. If it feels easier, try placing a block underneath each knee for support. If this pose is too deep for you, try bringing one leg in towards the chest at a time instead of both legs at once.
Step 2: Bring your arms out in front of you and rest your forehead on the floor . You can also rest your hands on top of each other if that feels better on your wrists. If this pose is still too deep, try placing blocks underneath each hand or under each forearm instead.
3 Tips for Doing Child’s Pose Better
- Breathe. As with almost any other pose, you have to breathe while you’re in Child’s Pose in order to reap any benefits.
- Stay present. There’s no better time to let go of everything going on in your mind than while you’re in it.
- Focus on each part of your body. Focus on the feeling of the stretch in each part of your body. You’ll notice that after a few seconds of being in Child’s Pose, you’ll start to feel the stretch.
If you’re a beginner, Child’s Pose is a great place to start. It’s easy to learn, it’s relaxing and will help you feel less stressed and anxious. If you’re an experienced yogi, you can incorporate it into your practice in many different ways and get a deeper stretch of hips by spreading the knees wider apart. Regardless of your experience with yoga, Child’s Pose is the one that you want to make sure to add to your routine. It’s that beneficial.