4 Easy Child’s Pose Variations

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Usually during a yoga class, child’s pose, or Balasana, is offered to students as a rest between poses.

In this pose, you can feel calm and supported and connected to the ground. A person also feels safe in this position – it’s the protective shape your body naturally gravitates towards when trying to protect your organs from danger.

It allows a gentle stretch through all your back muscles, and provides a space for you to reconnect with your breath. This pose is considered a forward bend and also a great counterpose to a backbend.

Sometimes when teachers are giving alignment cues, they tell you to keep your legs together and bring your forehead to the floor, like the picture below.

Some people find it extremely relaxing to sink down into this pose. Some people don’t sink at all though, and end up with their rear end sticking up in the air and very uncomfortable!

Sometimes the discomfort has to do with your bone structure or just how your muscles are shortened or tight in different places.

If you are looking for some variations to make this a more comfortable pose for yourself, check out the 4 variations below and give them a try!

“Traditional” Child’s Pose

Child’s Pose

Sit on your heels with your knees together. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, fold forward. Rest your forehead on the floor and bring your arms alongside your body. Allow any tension to release on your exhale, and feel your inhales expanding the back of your body. Stay here for 5-10 full breath cycles.

 

Variation #1

Child’s Pose with Wide Knees

Sit on your heels with your knees spread out wide and your big toes touching. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, fold forward. Rest your forehead on the floor and bring your arms alongside your body. Allow any tension to release on your exhale, and notice if your inhales reach all the way down to your belly. Stay here for 5-10 full breath cycles. (Tip: Add a blanket underneath your hips and underneath your forehead to make this more comfortable.)

Variation #2

Child’s Pose with Bolster

Sit on your heels with your knees spread out wide and your big toes touching. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, fold forward and rest on a yoga bolster. (You can also try this with a couple pillows.) Rest one cheek on the bolster and bring your arms around to hug the front of the bolster. Allow any tension to release on your exhale, and take note of your breath moving. Stay here for 5-10 full breath cycles, or up to 5 minutes.

Variation #3

Restorative Child’s Pose on Blocks

Set up your yoga bolster on some medium sized blocks – one placed horizontal and one placed vertical. Place the bolster on top. Sit on your heels with your knees spread out wide and your big toes touching. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, fold forward and rest on your bolster. Rest one cheek on the bolster and bring your arms underneath to hug the bolster. Allow any tension to release on your exhale, and take note of your breath moving throughout your body. Stay here for at least 5-10 full breath cycles, or up to 5 minutes.

Variation #4

Child’s Pose with Chairs

Set up 2 folding chairs facing each other. Sit on the edge of one chair with your legs hugging the opposite chair, and place the yoga bolster at an angle, resting on the back of the chair. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale, fold forward and rest on your bolster. Rest one cheek on the bolster and bring your arms underneath to hug the bolster. Allow any tension to release on your exhale, and take note of your breath moving throughout your body. Stay here for at least 5-10 full breath cycles, or up to 5 minutes.

After you have completed Child’s pose or any of its variations, lay flat out on your belly or your back and give your leg muscles a chance to lengthen. Notice how your body feels now after compressing the front body and stretching your hamstrings.

How to Use This Pose

Once you have found a way to make yourself comfortable, you can practice this pose any time you want to feel grounded or safe.

This pose can be used by itself at any time of the day – there is no need to wait for a “formal” yoga practice to practice child’s pose!

6 comments

  1. Soooo funny I came across your post tonight. I just did yoga this evening using a new app I found. I’ve grown a little tired of my gym routine and my job includes standing on my feet all day as well as a lot of heavy lifting. I’ve been having neck issues lately and decided to turn to yoga to help stretch my body (and neck) out.
    I do have a question for you. With our breaths, on the outward breath are we supposed to be breathing out through our nose or our mouth? I’ve always practiced deep breathing by breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth but with yoga??
    Thanks so much for the pose variations as well. I’ll be sure to give those a try:)

    1. Hi Jennifer! So nice to hear that you were doing yoga tonite! I hope that it helped your neck and body relax! As for your question…. I was taught that you always breathe in and out through your nose. Of course, if this is difficult (like you have a cold or a deviated septum), then it is fine to exhale out of your mouth. Please let me know how these variations work for you!

  2. Oh I can’t thank you enough for the descriptions of these poses. I found one especially, Variation #1, that I just feel like all my cares are stretched away and melt from me. I peruse the web looking for sites just like yours. I’m going to bookmark you now.

    Thanks so much,

    Babsie

  3. I need something to help my back and these look so gentle I am going to bookmark this site and come back so I can see the pictures and learn to do them properly
    Thank you

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