Extended Child Pose - Utthita Balasana
Extended Child Pose or Utthita Balasana (oo-tee-tah – bal-AHS-anna) is a restorative, gentle and restful posture which has calming benefits for the body and mind. The name is derived from the Sanskrit utthita, meaning “extended,” bala, meaning “child,” and asana, meaning “pose.”
Utthita Balasana is a good posture to connect more consciously with the breath, and to deliberately breathe into the back of the body and lungs. Every inhalation domes the back of the body upward, and every exhalation lengthens the torso and spine.
It is a cooling and calming posture, particularly good for re-centering after a challenging asana practice, or as a restorative pose. The gaze can be taken down or inward to encourage the introspection of this forward bend.
This posture is said to be calming for the muladhara chakra, and helps to settle the earth energy in the pelvis area. It is also said to calm the vata energy in the body because of the lowered position of the head.
- Difficulty: Beginners
- By Type: Flexibility Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses
- Body Position: Forward Bend Yoga Poses, Seated Yoga Poses
- By Benefit: Yoga Poses For Digestion, Yoga Poses For Stress Relief
Benefits and Contraindications
Stretches the entire length of the spine, including the neck and shoulders, helping to relieve stiffness and improve posture
Stimulate digestion and help relieve bloating
Relieves stress and tension
Soothes the nervous system
High blood pressure
Pregnancy after the first trimester
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications and Props for Beginners
- If you have knee pain or discomfort, you can place a folded blanket or cushion between your thighs and calves, or you can widen your knees slightly to reduce the pressure on your knees.
- You can place a bolster or cushion under your chest, arms, or forehead to provide support and make the pose more comfortable.
- If you have shoulder or neck pain, you can place your arms alongside your body, with your palms facing up or down, instead of reaching them forward.
- You can place a block or two under your forehead to elevate it and provide support for your neck.
- If you have limited flexibility in your shoulders or arms, you can use a strap to help you reach forward and lengthen your spine.
- As you hold the pose, focus on your breath and try to deepen your inhalations and exhalations, which can help you relax and release tension in your body.
- Remember to listen to your body and only go as far as you feel comfortable in the pose. With practice, you may be able to deepen the stretch and hold the pose for longer periods.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Extended Child Pose is a gentle yoga pose that is suitable for beginners. It can also be modified by placing a block or bolster under the forehead or chest for added support.
You can hold Extended Child Pose for 5-10 breaths, or longer if it feels comfortable.
Yes, Extended Child Pose can be modified for pregnancy by placing a blanket or pillow under the hips for added support and avoiding any deep stretching of the belly.
If you feel discomfort or pain in Extended Child Pose, come out of the pose slowly and gently. You can modify the pose or skip it altogether if it doesn’t feel comfortable for your body.
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