Child Pose or Balasana Step-by-step and Benefits

Child Pose or Balasana Step-by-step and Benefits - Sharp Muscle
6 min read
Updated: March 22, 2023

Child Pose or Balasana (a.k.a. Shishuasana) stretches your spine, hips, ankles and thighs and can help relieve fatigue.

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Experts believe that it is a rejuvenating or relaxing pose, completely relaxes the back and neck, and can be used by almost anyone for relaxation. It massages the abdominal organs and promotes a feeling of protection and nourishment. Child Pose is a good counterpose to backbend.


Known as:Child Pose, Balasana, Shishuasana
Sanskrit name:बालासन
Type:Restorative, Relaxation, Forward Bend, Sitting Posture
Total time:3 minutes
Drishti:Eyes closed;
Nose (Nasagrai or Nasagre)
Chakra:Sahasrara Chakra, Ajna Chakra, Manipura Chakra, Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra
Counterposes:Cow Pose, Salamba Bhujangasana
Preparatory poses:Hero Pose (Virasana), Tabletop pose, Cat pose
Follow-up poses:Can precede or follow any yoga pose, Anahatasana, Paschimottanasana, Virasana
Contraindications:Ankle, hip, or knee injury (supervision of an experienced teacher/instructor), pregnancy (keep the knees apart and do not place pressure on the abdominal region), diarrhea


The Balasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of two words — Bala + Asana:

  1. Bala” = “child”
  2. Asana” = “pose or posture”
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Balasana really promotes positive emotions, takes you back to your childhood days and keeps you away from bad feelings and ego.

It allows you to be at peace with your body in relation to the breath. There is no doubt that all yoga postures should engage with your breath and body, but some yoga poses are challenging where your chest and abdomen are compressed or pulled in, causing trouble breathing.

Benefits of Child Pose or Balasana

Child pose resembles the fetal position and is said to relax a person physically, mentally and emotionally.

However, the physical and mental benefits of this yoga pose are listed below:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Stretches ankles, knees, and hips
    • Opens the upper back
    • Alleviates head, neck, and chest pain
    • Opens the pelvic floor, hips, and low back
  2. Mental Benefits:

Child Pose or Balasana Practice Guide

The inversion can lead to increased parasympathetic outflow from the central nervous system, resulting in decreased heart rate and blood pressure. Accordingly, it is necessary to allow the cardiovascular system to rebalance after inverted asanas. Use intermediate asanas such as Balasana (Child’s Pose) to avoid a slight flurry before coming up off the mat.

1. Child Pose: Arms extended to the front

Child Pose or Balasana Practice Guide - Sharp Muscle
Image: simonagyoga/Instagram


  • Start in a kneeling position with your knees hip-width apart and your feet together, soles facing up. Take slow, full breaths during this pose.
  • Lower the hips until they are resting on your heels (or as close to your heels as you can get them). Exhale and tilt your torso forward until you melt at the top of your thighs, your forehead resting on the ground. Again, if you can’t comfortably fold it down far enough, go as far as you can. Over time, your body will become more relaxed, and you’ll be able to melt into Child’s Pose (Shishuasana) more.
  • Rest your arms on the ground next to your body with your palms facing up. Feel your spinal column relax. Relax your shoulders down and the shoulder blades open naturally.
  • To gently stretch your upper back, keep your arms straight ahead of your shoulders. Again, if you can’t straighten your arms, go as far as you can. Over time, you’ll be able to extend your arms straight overhead with a full range of motion.
  • Stay in this position for 3 minutes or as long as you want. To release from this posture, take a breath in and lift the torso up.
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2. Child’s Pose: Arms extended to the back

Child's Pose - Balasana - Arms extended to the back - Sharp Muscle
Image: yoga.elisabet/Instagram


  • Kneel on your heels with your buttocks at or near your heels and your feet slightly apart.
  • Bend from your hips — forward and down — to bend your upper body at your thighs. Your forehead rests on the floor or on a folded blanket or towel.
  • Extend your arms to the back on the floor next to your legs, with your palms facing up, and your toes pointing back. If you want, you can also lower your palms while relaxing your elbows.
  • Let your shoulders round.
  • Take a deep breath and relax.
  • Remain in this posture for 1 to 3 minutes or as much as you want.
  • Lift your upper body and return to a kneeling position.

3. Child Pose or Balasana with props or Restorative child pose

Child Pose or Balasana with props - Sharp Muscle
Image: Brooke Boon


  • Sit on the heels with your shoulders above the hips.
  • Use the bolster to support the torso, adjusting it as needed. Lean forward and gently lower your chest to the bolster. Rest the head on the bolster, softening your face.
  • Separate the knees to accommodate the bolster, and place a small sandbag or bolster on your lower back. The pressure will relax the lower back muscles. The prop should be heavy enough to be felt, but light-weight enough that it doesn’t take away from your ability to relax and restore in the posture.
  • Remain in this posture for 1 to 3 minutes or as much as you want.
  • Lift your upper body and return to a starting position.
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Precautions and contraindications

  • Practice Balasana only on an empty stomach.
  • Wear comfortable clothes before coming in this yoga posture.
  • Since this yoga asana creates a good amount of pressure in the stomach, the patient of diarrhea can get side effects from this yoga asana. So if you are suffering from diarrhea then you should avoid practicing this yoga pose. You can continue with it after you recover.
  • Since Child Pose promotes better flow of blood in the body, high blood pressure patients can create health hazards in this yoga asana. Therefore, the patient of high blood pressure should avoid practice this yoga asana.
  • If you have had a recent or deep injury to the ankle, hip, knee, thigh, spine or neck, avoid practicing this yoga pose at all.

1 thought on “Child Pose or Balasana Step-by-step and Benefits”

  1. Avatar for Gib Kissinger

    I have chronic hip, me, IT band, and high blood pressure problems. I used to enjoy child’s pose in my thirties, and my 40s but in my 50s and now that I am 61 I have trouble with it. I have had trouble letting it go so that today with an injured hip I had someone help me put a bolster very thick between my calves and thighs and then a big bolster that I laid across and blocks under that but it was still a problem especially getting into or out of the pose. So thank you for helping me realize that I need to just take that pose out of my binder that I use everyday.

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