Etymology and origins
The name comes from the Sanskrit words बाल bala, "child" and आसन āsana, "posture" or "seat".
From a kneeling position, bring the forehead to the floor and relax the arms alongside the body, palms upwards.
If need be, and during pregnancy, the knees can be spread. The arms may be stretched forward in front of the head. If there is discomfort in the neck and shoulders, a rolled blanket may be placed on the backs of the lower legs, and the forearms can be stacked and the forehead rested on them.
Ananda Balasana or "Happy Baby Pose" is an inverted form of Child's Pose; it has the body on the back, the thighs alongside the body, the knees bent and the hands grasping the toes.
Uttana Shishosana or "Extended Puppy Pose" stretches forwards from all fours until the forearms and forehead are resting on the floor and the thighs are vertical, giving a pose intermediate between Balasana and Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward Dog Pose).
Shasangasana (शसांगासन) or "Rabbit Pose", practised in Bikram Yoga, has the tailbone lifted until the thighs are vertical and the head and arms point back towards the feet, creating an intense flexion of the spine.
Sucirandhrasana (सुचिरंध्रासन), "Eye of the Needle", or "Thread the Needle Pose", also called Parsva Balasana, has the head and feet as in Balasana, the knees bent, the hips raised, and one shoulder on the floor, with the arm on that side stretched out in front of the face at right angles to the body along the floor. The other arm may be stretched forwards over the head, folded behind the back, or stretched straight up into the air.
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