Ahhh...Child’s pose. The go-to resting posture all-too-often used at the beginning of most yoga classes. It's everyone’s favorite yoga pose — well, almost everyone’s.
I personally don’t love Child’s pose a.k.a. Balasana. Sometimes my knees don’t feel so great, other times I experience pain in my groin, and a lot of the time I just don’t feel like putting my chest down (especially if I’m trying to catch my breath).
So, I don’t always take Balasana when it’s offered in class and simply sit up instead. However, throughout the years of practicing, teaching, and studying, I’ve picked up a few simple tips and tricks to make Child’s pose more comfortable for all body shapes and sizes.
In case you don’t love Balasana either, here are five simple ways to use props to make the pose more comfortable:
1. Block Under Forehead
Being able to ground your forehead is an important component of resting in Child’s pose. However, forcing your forehead to the floor can create a lot of tension in the nape and tops of your shoulders.
Using a block under your forehead is an easy solution that will actually allow the muscles in the back of your neck release and relax, while grounding the frontal cortex of your brain.
You can also put your forehead on a block to keep the front of the chest open, as opposed to closing it off, making it a bit easier to take deeper breaths as you recover. (Side note to teachers: if you’re working on or toward heart openers, you may want to consider keeping the chest more open in Child’s pose.)
2. Blanket Roll Behind Knees
Knees tend to be an issue in Child’s pose. If you happen to have sensitive knees (like me), resting directly on them doesn’t always feel relaxing. Usually, putting a folded blanket down to rest your knees and shins on does the trick.
However, if you experience a sharp pain, twinge or are recovering from a knee injury, try placing a small blanket roll directly behind your knees (in the creases) before lowering into Child’s pose.
If that isn’t enough, place a bolster across your heels to rest your sitting bones on. And if you still experience knee pain, simply come out of the pose.
3. Blanket Roll in Front of Ankles
Sometimes the stretch down the front of the shins, ankles, and tops of your feet can be very intense (sometimes the bottoms of the feet will even cramp up because of it). Needless to say, not everyone has flexible ankles!
The best thing to do is to support the front of your ankles with a small blanket roll, eliminating some of the pressure and extreme extension in the ankle.
You could even use a small blanket roll under your ankle bones and a second one behind your knee creases to really support the joints of your lower legs, allowing you to rest more comfortably.
4. Blanket Roll in Hip Creases
When I rest in Balasana I sometimes experience a pinching sensation in my front hip flexors and groins. For those in the same boat as I am, the solution is to create space between your low belly and tops of your thighs.
I often just slide my fingers and palms into each hip crease when it’s going to be a quick rest in the pose, and use a rolled up or folded blanket when I am going to rest longer.
5. The Ultimate Child’s Pose
A fantastic Restorative yoga position, fully support your Child’s pose with multiple blankets and a bolster.
Place a blanket down on your mat for your knees and shins, fold up another one for behind the knees, and use a bolster between your inner thighs and knees to fully rest your torso on. Then relax into the pose for as long as you’d like!
Hopefully these modifications will help you get more comfortable and relaxed in Child's pose and love it even more. Comment below and let me know which variation works best for you!