16/100 ~ Child’s pose (Balasana) – I quizzed my husband on the name of this pose as he took the photo. “Ummm…” he said tentatively, “Kiss the ground pose?” Sigh…Clearly, we have some work to do…
Benefits: This pose soothes the nervous system and relieves headaches, anxiety, nervousness and insomnia. It stretches the entire spine, hips, knees and ankles, plus releases tension in the neck and shoulders. Pressure at the center of the forehead stimulates the vagus nerve, which is responsible for activating our ‘rest and digest’ mode. It’s also sweet to note that this pose puts our spine in the same position it was in when we were in our mother’s womb – so soothing and nurturing.
How to: Start on your hands and knees in Table Pose (Day 12). Make your knees a little wider than your hips and allow your big toes to softly touch behind you. Take a deep breath in, and on your exhale move your hips back and down toward your heels. With the knees spread wide, your belly and chest can hang in between, and we rest the forehead either on the mat, a yoga block, or rolled up towel. Reach your hands toward the top of your yoga mat to stretch the sides of the body. Take a deep breath there, and then on your exhale relax your arms and shoulders. Let your elbows bend and rest on the floor. Breathe deeply into the back ribcage and notice the rise and fall of the body with the breath. Hold for 5 breath cycles or 5 minutes.
Extra info: Take this shape in any yoga class when you need a rest. It’s a universal signal to your yoga teacher that you’re taking great care of yourself.