Yoga helps with sleep, most of us know that. But if you had to do one asana tonight before sleeping to ensure deep sleep, which one would it be? Our pick: Balasana.
Balasana, or the Child Pose, is, according to Harvard Medical School, one of the most effective poses for people with sleep-related issues. The calmness and stability provided by this asana translate into sleep very quickly. Before we find out how to perform the pose, let us dig a little deeper into it.
What Is the Balasana?
The Balasana, also known as the Sharnagat Mudra and the Child Pose, gives your body the perfect stretch that it deserves. Don’t judge it by how easy it looks. The posture massages the abdominal organs, while also helping you relax and soothe your mind, therefore, providing you a good night’s sleep.
Balasana stimulates the Anahata chakra because it stretches the spine as you go down on your chest and stomach. This is why the asana relaxes both your body and your mind, releasing all the dissipated energy.
How to practice the Balasana?
- To practice the Balasana, begin by kneeling down on the floor. Make sure your big toes are touching each other. Do not place the feet one over the other.
- Once you feel you have found your balance in this posture, spread your knees hip-width apart. Slowly and softly, inhale.
- Exhale and lay your torso between your thighs.
- Slowly settle down on your thighs by broadening your sacrum all across the back of the pelvis. Feel that your tailbone is stretching away from the back of the pelvis as you slightly lift your head away from the back of the neck.
- Now gently extend your arms in front of you and stretch them out straight. The shoulders should not be strained, let them drop on the floor.
- Open up the shoulder blades across your back.
- Stay in this posture for 30 seconds or more. It is a resting posture, and so, you can stay in it for more than a few minutes too, if you want.
- To come out of the asana, first, stretch the upper body slowly. Then inhale and lift from the tailbone, thus pushing down into the pelvic region.
What are the benefits of Balasana?
Let us now look into the benefits of Balasana.
- The asana helps you release the tension in your chest.
- It relaxes the back and spine.
- It alleviates the stress felt by your shoulders.
- The Child Pose is highly recommended to people who keep feeling dizzy.
- The Balasana, if practiced after a tiring workday or workout, can help with relaxation and soothing of the muscles, ensuring good sleep.
- This posture helps alleviate stress and feelings of anxiety.
- Since the Balasana flexes the internal organs of your body, it helps in keeping them active, and therefore, supple.
- This stretch helps in the lengthening of the spine, and in maintaining its natural alignment.
- When performed with support on the head and the upper part of the body, the Child Pose can give relief from the pain felt in the lower back and the neck.
- It gives a good stretch to the ankles, thighs, and hips.
- By stretching out the whole body, the Balasana improves blood circulation.
- It enhances the quality of breathing, and thus, soothes the body as well as the mind.
- The muscles, tendons, and the ligaments in your knees receive the stretch they need through the Child Pose.
Precautions to be taken while practicing Balasana
Here are a few things to keep in mind while performing the Balasana.
- If when placing the head on the floor or on the mat you feel some difficulty or find it uncomfortable, then you can use a pillow or a cushion for support.
- If you are suffering from diarrhea, then avoid this exercise as it massages the digestive tract and creates pressure on the bowels.
- If you have knee injuries or knee problems, then refrain from getting into this asana.
- If you are a patient of hypertension, then this asana must be avoided.
Though a relaxing posture that looks easy compared to the other yogic contortions, the Balasana has numerous benefits, especially when it comes to sleep, and therefore, must be performed regularly for better results.