Watching my two year old daughter sleep fills me all at once with wondrous happiness and a little bit of envy.
Like many adults, sleep doesn’t always come easily to me. I envy the way in which her entire body, with limbs at all angles, rises and falls with a steady, tranquil breath as she willingly receives the gift of deep rest.
Her posture is open, her expression calm, completely unworried and oblivious to her surroundings. While it seems no two of her sleep positions are ever the same, I smile when she snoozes bum-up, mirroring one of my favourite yoga poses, Balasana.
Taking a cue from the simplicity and ease of a child at rest, Balasana is a wonderful restorative yoga pose. Literally translated as ‘Child’s Pose’ its nurturing shape and grounding qualities can help ease out a cranky back and encourage introspection for us grown-ups.
The pose can also help to smooth out and slow the breath, preparing us for quality rest.
I encourage you to curl up, turn you back on the world, and take a few moments in Balasana.
Getting into Child’s Pose:
Kneel on your mat with knees beside one another, connect the big toes, sit the buttocks back to rest on the heels. (Slide a folded blanket or bolster under the buttocks, if needed.)
Maintaining a tall spine, lean forward slowly and drape your torso over the thighs. Rest your forehead on the mat, or if it does not comfortably reach, on a folded blanket.
Arms can rest beside the body, palms facing up, or extend them ahead of you, palms grounded.
Close your eyes. Allow the full-body, gravitational pull of the pose to anchor your body to the mat and your thoughts to the breath. Cultivate the same full, soft and easy breath of a sleeping infant. Tune into the movement of the breath at the belly and be comforted by it’s rhythm.
Visualise your spine lengthening, the sacrum widening and decending, the shoulder-blades sliding from the midline. Allow the back of your heart to receive the breath.
Relax the face…and stay for as long as you like.
Benefits of Child’s Pose:
. Gently lengthens and stretches the entire back
. Eases out tensions in the spine, shoulders and chest
. Calms the mind
. Eases fatigue and headache
. Encourages internal focus
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Apprentice Editor: Terri Tremblett / Editor: Catherine Monkman