Child’s pose is a great beginner’s yoga pose and the perfect yoga pose to rest, find your breath and reconnect with your body and mind. For mental health and trauma-informed purposes, I will refer to child’s pose as “wisdom pose” (see below why). Wisdom pose is a wonderful restorative and intuitive yoga pose to add to any meditation practice or yoga sequence. The Sanskrit word for child’s pose is balasana which means:
bala – child asana -pose
Why call it “wisdom pose”?
As a licensed psychotherapist, I am careful in the words I choose when working with clients. This is especially the case when dealing with those that have been through traumatic events. The word “child” can bring back painful or uncomfortable memories, emotions and feelings. Then add to it the way we are sitting in child’s pose and the opening of our root chakra, it can be scary and feel exposed for some.
This is a wonderful grounding pose to assist those in their healing that might be struggling from trauma, fears and unhealthy boundaries. It’s also a great yoga pose to connect more with your breath.
These props are all optional and are to assist you in wisdom pose to find what feels good for you.
- Yoga blanket or towel placed under the knees for extra support or between your thighs and calves if it’s difficult to sit on your heels or underneath your feet for extra padding.
- Bolster or pillow to put underneath your stomach and chest to make this more of a restorative pose.
How to do Wisdom Pose
1- Begin down on your hands and knees.
2- Put your big toes together and spread your knees apart to the edges of the mat.
3- As you exhale, sit down to place your buttocks onto your heels.
4- Inhale and sit up straight in your spine then as you exhale reach your arms in front of you towards the front of the mat. Alternatively, you can rest your arms down along your sides for a more restorative pose.
5- Rest your chest on a bolster, your thigh or between your thighs
6- Place you forehead on the ground.
Benefits of Wisdom Pose
Psychological: This is a grounding pose. It is restorative not just physically but mentally. Wisdom pose is perfect for resting both your body and mind. With your forehead placed on the floor it stimulates the third eye which is the center of intuition and wisdom (hence wisdom pose). This pose will aid in self-compassion, self-love and self-trust.
Physical: Wisdom pose can stretch the hips and the psoas in addition to stretching the back.
If your buttocks is not able to sit on your heels, use a blanket or small cushion between your thighs and calves.
If this bothers the tops of your feet, place a blanket underneath your feet.
Place your forehead and chest on a bolster or pillow if you have a difficult or uncomfortable time putting your forehead on the ground. You could also stack your fists on top of one another and rest you head on there.
Be sure you find the most comfort in your wisdom pose as this is to be a restorative, grounding and resting pose. Once you are in a comfortable position, allow yourself to take 5-10 breaths.
Here are some more yoga foundation poses to help with our holistic health and healing.