Child's Pose

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Child's Pose in yoga (known in Sanskrit as Balasana) is a very basic position and accessible to most people, and it has the wonderful benefit of offering a gentle lengthening stretch for the lower back, which can alleviate certain types of back pain.

What You'll Need

  • Yoga mat, exercise mat, or carpeted floor
  • Pillow

What You'll Do

  • 1. From a hand-and-knees position on a mat or soft carpet, bring your knees a little wider than hip-width apart. Untuck your toes so that the tops of your feet and ankles are resting against the floor.
  • 2. Sit your hips back and allow your knees to bend until your hips are over your heels.
  • 3. If this is new position for you that you are not familiar with or if you have limited range of motion in your hips or knees, start with a pillow underneath your forehead and torso to rest on. If you are comfortable without a pillow, allow the sides of your torso to rest on top of your thighs and let your forehead rest on the floor.
  • 4. Rest your arms along the floor either straight out in front of you (fingers reaching away from the rest of your body) or on the floor on either side of your knees. The latter option may be suitable if your shoulders have limited range of motion.
  • 5. Take slow, deep breaths that fill your lungs and even allowing the sides of your body and lower belly to expand with each inhale, and control the release of air on each exhale. Stay in this position as long as you need to allow muscles in your body to release and relax.
  • 6. Listen to your body. If anything is painful or does not feel right, come out of the pose.

Tips & Warnings

  • Back pain can be due to many different causes, and for some - such as herniated discs, bulging discs, disc degeneration, or sacroiliac (SI) joint problems - Child's Pose may not be the best position for your back. If you are not sure, please consult with your doctor or physical therapist before trying Child's Pose for your back pain.
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