Child’s Pose (Balasana)

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Child’s Pose, Balasana, (Baa-Laa-Suh-Nuh)

bala (child) + asana (pose)

Also known as: Child Pose, Yin Yoga Child Pose, Mouse Pose, Child’s Pose Stretch, Extended Child’s Pose

Pose Type: Back Pain, Stretching, Restorative, Menstruation, Stress Relief, Headaches, Sciatica

Difficulty: Beginner

childs pose

Come back to yourself and rest in the loving cocoon that is Child’s Pose.

Child’s Pose Fundamentals

This beginner yoga pose is a foundational pose in our yoga practice that offers a space for us to rest in. It can serve as a powerful reminder that “not doing” is just as essential to our yoga practice (and our lives…), as “doing”.

Although at first glance Child’s Pose may seem easy, oftentimes, the simplest “do nothing” poses are the most challenging for our whirring minds. Be patient with yourself in Child’s Pose. Come back to the breath.

You will often find Child’s Pose in Restorative classes, or at the beginning of a yoga flow to allow a moment of stillness, or an opportunity to set an intention.

Child’s pose invites us to use props to fully support ourselves as we peel back the layers and come into deep relaxation.

Benefits Of Child Pose

  • Tension relieving. Take a moment to unclench tense muscles, especially back muscles. Let your jaw hang loose, your shoulders melt backwards. Release your belly and let your abdominal muscles relax. This can ease lower back pain.
  • Calming. Closed off to your surroundings, and in your own little nest in this forward bend, tune into your breath and slow your heart rate right down, to improve well-being.
  • Stretching. Ease the muscles in the lower back, upper back, thighs, and hips with a gentle stretch.
  • Aids with digestion. Massages and lightly compresses the internal organs. Balasana is said to help with proper digestion.

How To Do Child’s Pose: Step-by-step

How to get there:

1. Begin on all fours in the center of your yoga mat. Your wrists should be stacked directly under your shoulders, knees stacked directly under your hips and shins on the mat (this is known as table pose).

2. From here, exhale and lower your hips so that they are resting on your heels, toes untucked so that the tops of your feet are flat against the floor with the big toes touching.

3. Gently bend your torso forward, hinging at the hips and bringing your forehead to rest on the floor. Your sit bones should still be resting on your heels, and your arms relaxed alongside your torso.

4. Experiment here to find what is most comfortable or what provides the greatest stretch. Maybe this means spreading your knees apart and having your chest closer to the mat, or maybe it means resting your head on your palms.

5. Stay here for 5 minutes or more, breathing deeply and actively pressing your belly down towards the floor. Relax the muscles in your face, especially the jaw and forehead, where we tend to tense up when stressed or in pain.

6. For a variation that deepens the stretch and opens up your shoulders and chest: try extending your arms to the top of your mat, hands shoulder-width apart, palms on the floor and fingers stretched. (This is known as extended child’s pose)

annotated image of a woman doing child's pose

Tips And Tricks:

  • Use Child’s Pose as a break in your yoga practice. If ever you need to take a restful pause in any yoga class after too many vinyasas and downward dogs, come back to Balasana to recenter yourself and breathe. Stay here until it feels right to continue with your yoga practice.
  • Use your breath in this resting pose to create space in the low back and to allow yourself to melt into the pose. Breathe into your back body, imagine your spine lengthening, widening, and doming upwards. And with each exhalation, release your front body a little deeper, a little closer to the earth.
  • Practice after backbend yoga postures such as cobra to counter the deep stretch. Yoga teachers will often sequence in a child’s pose after backbends or more intense workout sections of practice.

Child’s Pose Variations: Supported Child’s Pose

  • childs pose with blanket 1
  • childs pose with blanket and block
  • childs pose with blanket under feet

Support yourself in Child’s Pose with plenty of props to achieve complete comfort. Use folded blankets and blocks to create yourself a supportive nest to allow yourself to fully relax.

Childs Pose Variation: Child’s Pose With Bolster

childs pose with bolster

How to get there:

1. Sit down on your heels, allow your buttocks to relax over your heels.

2. Grab a bolster and place it between your knees. Ready for the pose.

3. Take a deep inhalation and as you exhale gently fold onto the bolster. Keep the deep breathing as you relax into the pose.

4. Stay in the pose between 3-5 min. 

5. To come out of the pose, press your arms on the floor and slowly bring yourself to a kneeling position. Shift your weight onto one hip and release your legs. 

Precautions & Contraindications:


If you are pregnant, spread your knees wide when you come into Child’s Pose. That way, you avoid compressing your stomach on your thighs. Be gentle with your body, and if you experience any discomfort, stop immediately.

Knee Injuries:

If you are suffering from a serious knee injury, avoid Child’s Pose if it aggregates the knee area. Stick to yoga asanas that don’t rely on compressing the knees.

Shoulder Injuries:

Instead of the extended Child’s Pose variation which calls for the arms to be stretched out towards the top of the mat, keep your arms draped down your side body, hands towards the back of the mat, palms facing upwards.

That way, you won’t require as much range of motion from your shoulders, and you’ll put less pressure on the joint.

Preparatory Poses:

Tabletop Pose

Cat Pose

Counter Poses:

Cat-Cow Pose

Cow Pose

Sphinx Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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