As promised I wanted to show you a supported version of balasana, the child’s pose, which can be done from seated in chair (thus avoiding pressure on the hips, knees or ankles).
There are lots of benefits from this supported pose, including relief from lower back pain, and the softening and opening of the lung space in the upper back (as described yesterday, we have more lung surface area in the back than the front).
However, it does take a lot of props! In the top picture Henry is using two chairs, two bolsters, a brick, a belt, five blankets and two cushions. We had a little play around at the breakfast table this morning and came up with some other less prop-intensive solutions if you would like to have a go at this pose today – just 5 minutes or so, then your usual relaxation pose for the other 15.
Solution one: create a bolster from a pillow rolled up in a yoga mat.
Solution two: sit at your table and lean over a large tray with a pillow on it (this was super simple and super comfortable!)
Alignment checks for chair child’s pose:
– hips higher than knees
– ankles and knees same width
– abdomen resting on something
– head turned either side, or resting forehead on cushion/hands.
In the pose:
– since your abdomen is very slightly compressed, resting on bolster or cushion, the idea is that your breath will find other parts of your lungs to move in, and not just the bottom portion. If you are a regular yoga practitioner you will probably have developed a wonderful abdominal breath, but in this instance we want to ‘quiet’ that, and direct the breath instead into the back lung area. It might feel like welcoming your breath into the skin on your upper back. Allow the front of your body to be heavy, resting on the props, so the back of the body may be light and spacious.