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Nurturing the Inner Child: Balasana. Yeah, baby

As the Fourth of July approaches, I am reminded on my late dog, Tommy. A sensitive yellow lab, he was terrified of the bombs bursting in air. I wish I could have protected him from the sound and the fury. If he’d been a person, I would have recommended he do Child’s Pose, Balasana. It’s the wonder pose and he was the Wonder Dog.

Even though I sometimes start to fidget if I spend too much time here, Child’s Pose is really where it’s at. Balasana is one of yoga’s most underrated postures. According to many teachers, the purpose of yoga is unveiling the sacred union between the individual and the divine (you can use a capital D here if you choose). Yoga reveals the bliss we innately knew as children before we started to let things like money, appearances, responsibility and ego get in the way of our sacred play.

Balasana is like a date with your inner child. It is a mini-vacation from the external forces that hide our own beauty from ourselves. Even in a vigorous yoga class, Balasana grounds us in the beauty of the moment.

If you fear I might cue up the Ravi Shankar music now, inhale and exhale. Let’s take a look at the physical benefits of the posture. Child’s Pose:

  • Feels good
  • Stretches the lower back, hips, thighs, knees, and even ankles
  • Relaxes the spine, shoulders, neck and upper back
  • Increases blood circulation to the head this can reduce headaches and even relieve sinus pain
  • Massages internal organs
  • Eases menstrual cramps
  • Quiets the mind

A quiet mind is just what some of us need this time of year. Not bad for a posture that comes so naturally to so many children.