Supported Child Pose (Restorative child’s Pose): Steps, Benefits, and Contraindications

Supported Child Pose (Restorative child's Pose or Salamba Balasana) - Fitzabout

Supported Child Pose, also known as Restorative Child Pose or Salamba Balasana, helps relieve tension in your lower back, creating a sense of security from your early days. The pose is one of introversion, curling up and reconnecting with feelings of support and release.

Supported Child’s Pose is a familiar pose of relaxation and sleep for infants and young children.

Benefits of Supported Child Pose (Restorative child Pose)

Supported Child Pose gently stretches and relieves tension of your lower back, relieves shoulder tension, lengthens the spine, and calms your mind. The pose also stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system and relieves menstrual cramp discomfort.

Supported Child Pose (Restorative child Pose) Practice Guide

Restorative Child’s Pose is a more accessible form of Child’s Pose (Balasana) because it requires less flexibility in the lower back and body to twist.

To enter Supported Child’s Pose (Salamba Balasana), arrange bolsters on the mat in front of you, perhaps facing upward on the block to allow enough height to fully support your entire torso. You kneel in front of the bolster with your toes, knees apart, then your body leans forward over the bolus, rotating your head to each side.

To further modify this yoga pose, additional cushioning can be placed under your knees or behind your knees to reduce the pressure here. The pose can also be practiced on high stacks of bolts to make the pose more accessible.

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Step-by-step instructions to Restorative Child Pose

Supported Child Pose (Restorative child's Pose or Salamba Balasana) - Fitzabout
image credit: Ariane Ladouceur

Step-1

Begin by kneeling on a carpeted floor or blanket, knees hip-width apart and bolsters in front of you. If needed, use more padding under the knees and shins. To avoid stress on the outer ankle ligaments, point the toes straight back and not toward each other. Sit back on the heels.

Step-2

If you experience discomfort in the knees, ankles, or tops of the feet, come up and try one or both of the following adjustments. Place a towel folded lengthwise at the bend of the knees to make more room in the knee joints. Place the other towel, rolled lengthwise, in front of the ankles, and allow the feet to hang over the roll. Experiment with the thickness of these folded and rolled towels to find the right one for you.

Step-3

Sit on the ankles again. Extend knees wide enough to keep bolster between thighs. To increase relaxation, hold a sandbag across your lower back while leaning forward. The weight of the bag helps to relax the muscles of the lower back.

Step-4

The torso should be fully supported by the bolsters and thighs and chest should rest easily on the bolster. Allow the tailbone to move toward the heel. This action will lengthen the lower back as you relax. The buttocks should not touch your heels.

Step-5

If you need more help, try one of the following variations. Come into a kneeling position and place a long roll blanket over the heels and sit back, or come into a kneeling position and raise the height of the torso support by adding one, or more single-fold blankets. If you have difficulty breathing, push the bolster forward so that it only supports the breastbone and allows the belly to hang freely.

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Step-6

Turn the head to one side, and bring the chin slightly towards the chest. During the practice of the mudra, make a half turn of the head in the opposite direction. If the head-side position is uncomfortable, rest on the forehead and tuck the chin slightly toward the chest. Make sure you can breathe easily regardless of head position.

Step-7

Position the arms so that they either reach back toward the feet or go forward around the edges of the bolster. The position of your arms is unimportant; It is important that you are comfortable. Close your eyes.

Step-8

Take several slow breaths. While doing this, let the shoulders go away from the ears. Relax the stomach and feel supported. If you have menstrual cramps, the counter-pressure of the bolster on the abdomen can feel especially good.

Step-9

Practice the Supported Child Pose for 3 minutes, and make sure you spend an equal amount of time turning your head in both directions. Open your eyes. Reach back with one hand and slide the sandbag from behind and to one side. Place palms on the floor, under your shoulders, and press the hands on the floor, inhale and slowly sit down on the ankles. Relax for a moment. Come in a kneeling position and, while keeping the foot on the floor, immediately bring one leg forward. Press the hands on the front thigh, and take a deep breath as you come to the standing position. Coming out of the pose in this way prevents problems in the knees.

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Precautions and contraindications

  • Follow the steps given in Step-1 and Step-9 to protect your knees, ankles, and feet.
  • Avoid this yoga pose if you have chronic back conditions, including but not limited to spondylolisthesis, spondylolysis, spinal stenosis, disc disease, nerve symptoms (such as radiating pain or numbness, or difficulty with bowel or bladder function).
  • Do not practice this yoga pose if you are more than three months pregnant.

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