Balasana: Bolster Your Child’s Pose

This entry was posted on Mar 3, 2015 by Charlotte Bell.
balasanaBalasana: Practicing Child’s Pose on a Bolster

Few things in life are more comforting than curling up in Balasana (Child’s Pose). Balasana quiets the mind and restores spent energy. Among its many benefits, Balasana focuses the breath into the back body and supports the natural outward expansion of the lungs on each inhalation. Like all forward bends, Child’s Pose turns our focus inward.

But for some people, especially yogis whose knees and/or hips don’t flex deeply, Child’s Pose may not be all that comfortable. The good news is that most of these people can enjoy Balasana by adding a few props.

The photo above shows the most deluxe version of Supported Balasana, but some practitioners may feel completely comfortable just lying over a Standard Bolster that’s flat on the floor. Using the other props shown in the photo—a Yoga Mat, Yoga Blanket, Sandbag and one or two Yoga Blocks, can make it more pleasant to hang out in Child’s Pose for a long time.

You can find a more detailed description of Balasana and its benefits here.

How to Set Up Supported Balasana
  1. Start by kneeling on a mat with all the props you’d like to use close by.
  2. Stack two blocks in front of you, or alternately, you can place one block on its side with the wide side parallel to the far end of your mat.
  3. Place the far end of your bolster on top of your blocks, so that it’s slanted in front of you.
  4. Place a folded blanket on top of your thighs.
  5. Bend forward over your bolster.
  6. Turn your head to one side, mindful that it would be good to turn your head the other way after a minute or two.
  7. Placing the Sandbag on your low back can be tricky while you’re in the pose. If you can’t manage it, ask a friend to help. If you’re alone you can practice without the Sandbag. It still feels great.

Restorative Yoga practice is highly adaptable and creative. Feel free to experiment with the props to suit your needs. Let us know what variations you’ve discovered.

You can find more out about how to use our blocks, blankets and bolsters by visiting our Props Guide.

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice, published by Rodmell Press. Her second book, Yoga for Meditators (Rodmell Press) was published in May 2012. She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to schools and to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.