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Balasana or Child's Pose

Bālāsana (Sanskrit: बालासन) or Child Pose,[1] is a kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise. Balasana is a counter asana for various asanas and is usually practiced before and after Sirsasana.[2]

Etymology and origins[edit]

The name comes from the Sanskrit words बाल bala, "child" and आसन āsana, "posture" or "seat".[3]

Balasana is not described until the 20th century; a similar pose appears in Niels Bukh's 1924 Primary Gymnastics.[4][5]

Ananda Balasana is illustrated as Kandukasana (Ball Pose) in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi.[6]


From a kneeling position, bring the forehead to the floor and relax the arms alongside the body, palms upwards.[7]


Happy Baby pose
Rabbit pose

If need be, and during pregnancy, the knees can be spread.[7] The arms may be stretched forward in front of the head.[8] 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.[9]

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.[10]

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).[11]

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.[12]

Sucirandhrasana (सुचिरंध्रासन), "Eye of the Needle", or "Thread the Needle Pose", also called Parsva Balasana,[13] 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.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Child's Pose". Yoga Journal. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  2. ^ "4 Counter Poses to Do Before and After Headstand". Virginia is for Yoga Lovers. Archived from the original on 27 November 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  3. ^ Sinha, S. C. (1996). Dictionary of Philosophy. Anmol Publications. p. 18. ISBN 978-81-7041-293-9.
  4. ^ Singleton, Mark (2010). Yoga body : the origins of modern posture practice. Oxford University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-19-539534-1. OCLC 318191988.
  5. ^ Bukh, Niels (2010) [1924]. Primary Gymnastics. Tufts Press. p. 32. ISBN 978-1446527351.
  6. ^ Sjoman, Norman E. (1999) [1996]. The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace (2nd ed.). Abhinav Publications. pp. 15, 70, plate 1 (pose 6). ISBN 81-7017-389-2.
  7. ^ a b Lidell, Lucy; The Sivananda Yoga Centre (1983). The book of yoga. Ebury. pp. 37, 161. ISBN 978-0-85223-297-2. OCLC 12457963.
  8. ^ Anon (28 August 2007). "Child's Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  9. ^ Ashworth, Kathryn. "3 Variations to Try When Child's Pose Doesn't Feel Like a Resting Pose". Yoga International. Retrieved 17 March 2019.
  10. ^ Newell, Zo. "The Mythology Behind Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)". Yoga International. Retrieved 8 February 2019.
  11. ^ Anon (28 August 2007). "Extended Puppy Pose". Yoga Journal. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Learn Sasangasana (Rabbit Pose)". Yoga International. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  13. ^ "Threaded Needle: Parsva Balasana". Inspire Yoga. Retrieved 25 November 2022.
  14. ^ "Eye of the Needle: Sucirandhrasana". Yoga Basics. Retrieved 25 November 2022.

External links[edit]