On the Mat: Child's Pose (balasana)
Child's pose, or balasana, is one of the most relaxing and restorative poses in yoga.
I love the way this pose curves so that you wrap in on and support yourself inside the shape. A class will often start with child's pose in order to help draw your attention inward and center you before beginning your practice.
A few things to think about:
*Child's pose has options. The arms and legs may feel comfortable in different positions on different days, so continue to offer your body choices.
*Child's pose should above all be comfortable. If you have a tight lower back or ankles, use a block underneath your forehead, a blanket under your knees, or a rolled up towel underneath your feet until this shape allows you to be heavy.
*The breath will help you sink into this pose, so keep it passive rather than active. If you can linger for a few moments, the hips will naturally begin to open and the back will gently expand without any forcing or pushing.
*This pose is always a great place to come to if during a class you lose focus, get physical tired, or disconnect with your breath. It's also a great pose to help you in everyday life. If you need to put work aside and move on to something else, a few breaths in child's pose can help ease the transition.