written by Sarah Farrell (student in the 200 hr YTT)
Child’s Pose, or Bah-Lah-sah-nah (Balasana), is a grounding and restful posture, at least physically. However, there is also subtle work and challenge in this posture.
What I have come to appreciate about child’s pose is it’s ability to allow me to inhabit my body and better know what I am feeling in the moment. Sometimes this can be very straightforward, and other days quite complex, or even unsettling. The key to child’s pose is to not have an expectation that this posture will always be easy or restful or even the same on any given day or throughout different parts of the same yoga sequence. I like to use child’s pose as a stand alone posture in the evening to restore or check in at the end of a busy day. Or also mixed in with more physical practice. I notice that the qualities of child’s pose ebbs and flows amidst the context within which I practice.
Child’s pose can be a very comforting and safe posture. As we kneel on the mat, and bring the hips back to the the heels and extend the arms to the sides of the body, we are literally placing ourselves in a position of surrender and allowing whatever is going to happen to happen.
It is one of the sacred postures that brings us close to the ground. This can bring up feelings of trust, as we aim to let go of muscular tension or gripping, and allow gravity and the earth to hold us. It provides a holding and sense of real groundedness to be placed close to the earth. This encourages feelings of safety, and cultivates more trust as we allow ourselves to be held.
On the flip side, and or even simultaneously, while we are being held we are also further inhabiting our bodies and deeper held emotional states may arise. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelming emotions during this posture, and or a spectrum of feelings could be stirred spontaneously just from allowing ourselves to be held.
Child’s pose puts us in touch with the spiritual quality of bowing down, and surrendering to whatever is taking place in any given moment, whether pleasurable or painful. Sometimes, it is the harder or more challenging states of being that when worked with can be purifying.