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Benefits of Balasana (Child’s Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

By Dr. Ankit Sankhe +2 more

Introduction: 

Asanas and Pranayama assist individuals in connecting their mind and body. Yoga promotes circulation and muscle tone while lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Practising yoga might help regulate stress levels and reduce tension before exams. Yoga is a practical discipline that combines a wide range of practices to promote a state of both physical and mental health. It involves practising meditation, controlling breathing with a range of breathing techniques, and engaging in various physical postures and exercises where the emphasis is more on engaging particular muscle groups.  

balasana yoga pose

Balasana is a simple relaxation pose. Balasana is meant to calm the mind when the breath is regulated correctly. Child’s Pose or Balasana is an easy posture that helps relax the body, which we can do easily.1 

What is Balasana?  

Balasana is also termed as a Child’s Pose or Resting pose. In Sanskrit, “Bala” means a “Kid” who is not entirely grown or matured. Balasana resembles a kid on the ground asking for a toy. In balasana, muscles such as spinal extensors, gluteus medius, and hamstrings may elongate and work simultaneously.2 Let’s see how balasana is performed.  

Also Read: Benefits of Matsyasana (Fish Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

How to do it? 

We must use the proper techniques to get the most health benefits from the child pose. The balasana steps may be done while sitting on the ground as it is a ‘sitting posture’. The steps are as follows:  

  • At first, kneel on the ground. Take a deep breath, spread your knees as wide as your hips, and try to touch your toes together. Then slowly bend your head between your thighs as you exhale. Your shoulders must lie on your hips.2 
  • If you find any difficulty while kneeling the head on the ground, then you may use a prop such as a block or a bolster. Your knees might widen while doing these steps. If the head barely reaches the ground, support may be provided by a prop positioned under the head. The chest may rest gently on the thigh. You may feel stretch in your hips and shoulders.2 
  • To maintain a straight back and minimise injury, placing a blanket over the heels and under the sitting bones may be helpful. While doing balasana, you may feel stiffness in your hip joints. It might be because the body might be pulled down by gravity rather than by the muscles.2 

Do You Know? 

There is a sense of relaxation that surrounds the innocence of childhood. So, this pose may be known as Child’s pose. However, some great sayings and fun facts regarding balasana are: 

  • “This is one of the paradoxes of yoga philosophy,” says Alanna Kaivalya, author of Myths of the Asanas. When asked to elaborate, she said “Firstly, we need to remember our divine nature, and when we are set up in it, we need to forget it again to stay active in the world”. This balance might be seen in the child’s pose.  
  • The myth regarding balasana tells us that Krishna, who is a form of Vishnu (Vishnu is the god of preservation and one of the three primary Hindu gods), showed the actions of a kid who was unaware of his power as a youngster, a playful forgetfulness known as Lila, which is when a person is rooted in his or her own divinity, he or she may forget it in a way that brings about lightness. This may show that simplicity of child is used as an analogy to describe a sense of relaxation. 

Practising balasana can give you awareness about mental, emotional, and physical states and bring you solace. It positively affects the whole body, mind, and soul, making you feel rejuvenated and relaxed.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Benefits of Pawanamuktasana (Gas Release Yoga Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Benefits of Balasana: 

Some of the benefits of Balasana are as follows:  

1. Benefits of Balasana for Chest Pain and Lungs: 

According to study, in Balasana, Marjasana and Setu Bandhasana postures, the oxygen concentration in blood was calculated, among which ‘balasana’ was most beneficial. It may be helpful in treating chest pain and neck pain. Balasana is a relaxed position to enable focus on breathing, which might be a perfect remedy for breathing problems. A deeper inhalation is possible with greater movement in the rib cage and the back of the abdomen.3  

2. Benefits of Balasana for Lower Back Muscles:  

In the work-from-home schedule, we have to sit for long hours to complete the work, which may cause back pain, and we tend to get sick earlier than usual, for which the balasana yoga pose is a practical exercise. In addition, the spinal, back and hip muscles may lengthen and contract simultaneously while doing balasana, which relieves the body fatigue.2 

3. Benefits of Balasana for the Heart: 

According to a study, heart rate, systolic blood pressure, and diastolic blood pressure, are all considerably lowered.1 Kindly consult a doctor as heart conditions are serious and must be properly diagnosed and treated.  

4. Benefits of Balasana for Stomach Pain:  

In balasana, upper and lower abdominal portions extend along with lower back muscles, which may benefit patients with stomach pain and lower back pain.2  

5. Benefits of Balasana for Diabetes: 

One of the primary causes of diabetes is stress. It stimulates the body’s release of glucagon (a hormone responsible for boosting blood glucose levels). Yoga poses like balasana along with a few minutes of regular meditation may help relieve stress and protect the body from its harmful effects, reducing the quantity of glucagon and improving insulin (a hormone which balances blood glucose/sugar level in the body) activity.5 Kindly consult the doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment of diabetes. 

6. Benefits of Balasana for Fatigue and Stress: 

Balasana or resting pose has therapeutic benefits for anxiety, stress, depression, sleeping difficulties and fatigue. This asana may activate the limbic system which helps the body respond to intense emotions such as fear and anger by activating the fight or flight response. It may induce relaxation and relieve tension. It increases blood circulation to the head.3 

7. Other Benefits of Child’s Pose or Balasana: 

  • It may help broaden the shoulders. 
  • It may help calm the body, mind and central nervous system. 
  • It may help improve blood circulation in entire body.1,4 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. You must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries.  

Regularly practising balasana might improve digestive health. This is because while performing balasana, internal abdominal organs experience pressure. Additionally, it might also help with acidity.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Benefits of Savasana (Corpse Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Risks of Exercise 

  • Balasana pose may be risky in patients with hypertension and pregnant women. Kindly consult a doctor in those conditions. 
  • The pose might constrict breathing and cause a feeling of suffocation in a person new to the posture.2 
  • For patients with high blood pressure, don’t lower the head on the ground for much longer than comfortable. Instead, you can use yoga block or bolsters.2 
  • Patients having slipped disc, knee injuries and severe spondylitis should consult a physician while performing the resting pose. 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher, we can access and analyse the risk factors and continue to practise the balasana with precautions. 

Conclusion 

The key aim of balasana asana is to regulate our breath consistently that it becomes therapeutic to the body. While performing the balasana, the head should be lowered to the floor while kneeling and keeping the legs apart. We may feel a slight pull in the lower back and inner thigh muscles, but remaining in this position helps regulate breathing and increases oxygen intake in the lungs and blood. In addition, it gently stretches your lower back, ankles, knees and hips. To avoid any problems, one must perform this posture frequently while taking the necessary precautions, preferably with the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor. 

Also Read: Benefits of Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Fish Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Frequently Asked Questions 

Does Balasana have any effect on eyesight? 

No, since more study on the effects of balasana on eyesight is needed. 

What is the effect of the Balasana pose on hair growth? 

No, however, more research is required to get the correct information on the balasana effect on hair growth.  

What are the benefits of Balasana? 

Balasana improves the digestion process. It may focus on the purification of body and mind to help overcome a variety of illnesses in modern life. In addition, balasana may be effective for lower back and neck pain patients.2 

 Does Balasana have any effect on blood circulation? 

Daily yoga may increase lung airflow, capacity, stamina, and efficiency. In addition, a back-bending position like balasana may stretch the chest and enhance lung and heart function and blood circulation. In the resting pose, muscles in the hips, arms, and legs help the body react rapidly and breathe more deeply. The blood flow through the muscles, and back to the lungs increases, the heart beats more quickly, and tiny blood vessels widen to allow more oxygen to enter the blood. Endorphins (body’s natural pain relievers and mood uplifters) are released by the body together with oxygen. The increase in blood flow encourages blood circulation.3 

How the Balasana or Child’s Pose is effective in reducing stomach pain? 

Balasana may improve digestion process and stretches the abdominal muscles, which helps reduce pain in the stomach. Kindly consult the doctor or yoga trainer before practising the balasana or Child’s pose.2 

References:  

  1. Jabir PK, Sadananda B, Das KS. Effect of Balasana on cardiac parameters among healthy medical students. National Journal of Physiology, Pharmacy and Pharmacology. 2017;7(12):1342-6. Available from: http://www.njppp.com/fulltext/28-1502452526.pdf  
  1. Hutton C, Rogers R, Doan J. Benefits of yoga pranayama, asana, and meditation techniques for classically trained singers and voice educators (Doctoral dissertation, Arizona State University). Available from: https://keep.lib.asu.edu/_flysystem/fedora/c7/114068/Hutton_asu_0010E_13917.pdf 
  1. Taru RS, Kaluskar R. The Immediate Effect of Yogasana On Oxygen Saturation Levels in Young Adults. Available from: http://210.212.169.38/xmlui/handle/123456789/10095 
  1. Köksoy S, Eti C, Karataş M, Vayisoglu Y. The effects of yoga in patients suffering from subjective tinnitus. International Archives of Otorhinolaryngology. 2017;22(01):009–13. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786150/pdf/10-1055-s-0037-1601415.pdf”   
  1. Nath R. Switch over to alternative therapy for diabetes mellitus –a life style disease. Current Research in Diabetes & Obesity Journal. 2016;1(2). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/313960552_Switch_Over_to_Alternative_Therapy_for_Diabetes_Mellitus_-A_Life_Style_Disease    

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