You would never guess that one of the best yoga poses…is a resting pose.
Balasana, child’s pose, gets its name from the Sanskrit words ‘bala’ (बाल) meaning child and ‘asana’ (आसन) meaning pose. It may remind you of your baby curled up in your belly in a fetal position. Its so easy to do that it won’t even feel like you are “doing anything.”
To practice this yoga pose, sit on your heels on a yoga mat or on the floor. You can keep your knees together or apart. Slowly, bend forward by lowering your forehead to touch the floor and exhale as you go down. Keep your arms alongside your body, palms up, or you an even reach your arms towards the front of the mat, palms down.
For most of us on the go mommas, the majority of our day is spent in a state of external awareness. Much of our time is devoted to interacting with others…aka our kids, our co-workers, our husbands, our kids’ teachers, our grocery store clerks, and the list goes on. Plus so much of what we do has us taking in immense amounts of stimuli (our phone and computer screens!). Child’s pose allows us a chance to reconnect with our own inner being. It’s an opportunity to shift to an internal state of awareness where we allow ourselves to check in with ourselves. It feels so right to do this when you are curled up with your forehead on the floor. Oh and the plus side is that it’s kid friendly. When you do this, you can model it for your kids and they may just get right on in with you, calming them down at the same time. Double win.
It is also a powerful opportunity to connect with your back body. We are so front oriented, that it is great to expand this awareness to the back.
But mostly, it is amazing to become aware of the breath during this slow-down, retreat of a pose. This is where the ‘bhramari’ breath comes in. Bhramari is derived from the Sanskrit term for bee. This breath practice is named after an actual black Indian bee due to the bee-like buzz sound produced during the exhalation of this breathing exercise.
Bhramari is a safe, easy-to-learn breathing practice, with much therapeutic potential. Like other pranayama, its power comes partly from its effects on the autonomic nervous system (ANS). Lengthening the exhalation relative to the inhalation activates the calming parasympathetic branch of the ANS. For those who suffer from anxiety, the practice can begin to quiet the mind within just a few breaths. The noise of bhramari’s buzzing can drown out the endless mental chatter that can fuel stress. What should I make for dinner? Did I order the right supplies? When is that deadline again? Yup, it drowns it all out.
So you do both of these together for at least 2 minutes, it is a great starting point for those of us whose minds are too “busy” to meditate.
How can you practice this breath in balasana?
Get into your balasana pose and then breathe in through the nostrils as you keep your facial muscles loose, your lips lightly touching, and your jaw relaxed, with the upper and lower rows of teeth slightly separated. Upon the exhalation, prolong a buzzing sound as the air comes out of your mouth and as long as it’s comfortable and you can still inhale smoothly, without needing to gasp for air. If you start to feel like you cannot do it, back off and return to normal breathing. Simply practice this breath until you feel calm then. Check out our IG TV for my easy guide to practice this pose and breath together. Try it out everyday for just 2 minutes and I promise, it will feel like the best 2 minutes of your day! Check out my video on IGTV on @thechaimommas Instagram page.
https://hbr.org/2018/01/what-self-awareness-really-is-and-how-to-cultivate-it https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/child-s-pose https://yogainternational.com/