Balasana Yoga (Child’s Pose): Yoga for Good Sleep
There’s nothing like the comfort of your bed and space to curl into after a long day at work. Comfortable sheets, soft pillows, dim lights, maybe a book to read too. Whatever the sleep environment you choose to assist in you falling into a deep and restful sleep, reaching a stage of excessive tiredness can leave you tossing and turning instead. Sleep experts across the globe recommend that to get a good night’s sleep, it’s important to have a set routine in place-maintained consistently apart from an apt environment. This trains our body and mind to naturally shut down and evoke a sense of peaceful rest, ready for slumber. Some of the activities include a warm bath, a cup of steaming Auric Drinking Hot Chocolate with Ashwagandha, mindful practices like meditation and many such.
Sleep is one of the most undervalued activities for our body’s overall wellness. It directly influences the healing and repair of cells in our body while keeping diseases at bay.
One of the activities to consider as part of your sleep routine is yoga practice. Yoga has long been associated with attaining mind, body and soul alignment. It is an ancient practice involving set physical poses, deep breathing and focus. Among the many ailments that yoga is known to help manage or even cure, it is known to cure sleep problems. Let’s find out how.
Why Yoga before Bedtime?
Balasana benefits the human body. The key ones are:
- Improve overall body flexibility and strength
- Improve body posture
- Ease chronic back pains
- Ease stress and anxiety
- Improve sleep quality and patterns
Using specific yoga poses before bedtime can alleviate any pains and aches that could keep you up all night, stealing quality sleep. Additionally, taking deep breaths with these poses helps calm the body by regulating overall blood flow. Being mindful during a pose ensures we ground ourselves back to where we are physically rather than get lost in the worries of daily life.
One such yoga pose is the Balasana Yoga pose, often used for better sleep.
What is Balasana Yoga for Sleep?
The Balasana yoga pose or the Child’s pose is most recommended for those who want a yoga practice that directly influences a good night’s sleep. Derived from the Sanskrit word of ‘Bala’ meaning child and ‘asana’, a pose- its anatomical aim is to relieve neck, shoulder, back and thighs. Often taught as the first pose to beginners in yoga, this asana is easy to perform and mimics the foetal position of a child. One of the most important points to keep in mind when doing this asana is to regulate breathing by inhaling and exhaling in synchronicity with pose movements. Balasana yoga for sleep lets you relax overall body muscles and joints, allowing you restful, undisturbed and pain-free sleep.
Who Can and Cannot Perform Balasana Yoga for Sleep?
As with all yoga poses, it’s important to perform these physical stretches correctly, maintaining posture and breath. The Balasana yoga pose or asana can be practised by almost everyone across age brackets and beginners, except:
- Those who suffer from diarrhoea, as the pose massages internal digestion organs and can create pressure on bowels.
- Those who have leg or knee-related problems, as the pose requires you to bend these stretching it out. This could potentially worsen the pain.
- Those who suffer from hypertension must not practise the Balasana pose before sleep.
- Pregnant women as the pose require you to bend forward, face down.
- Those who suffer from chronic sleep-related issues like insomnia. While Balasana yoga is considered an apt sleep pose, it is not a cure for acute or chronic sleep-related issues.
Practise the Balasana Yoga pose with Ease
A good way to start any yoga pose is to wear comfortable clothes and find a comfortable place with a yoga mat to practise on. The main aim is to move freely without any obstructions or distractions in view. Particularly with Balasana yoga, it is also important to first track your sleep patterns over a set period of time to know when you feel the most tired or sleepiest and most awake. This will help you ascertain the time when to practise this sleeping pose that will help calibrate your sleep cycle.
- To start the pose, sit on your heels, keeping your knees together or apart hip wide. Slowly inhale through the nostril as you maintain this posture.
- Next, exhale and bend forward to lay on your torso, slowly touching your forehead down to the floor.
- As you do this pose, extend your arms on either side stretched out ahead of you. Ensure to settle on your thighs whilst broadening your lower region, especially the back of the pelvis and tailbone area.
- Remain in this pose as you lift your head upward. This pose is bound to gently relax your entire back, starting from the neck to the tailbone.
- Keep your arms extended, palms facing down towards the front of the yoga mat. This pose should feel like a long, warm stretch without straining your shoulders. Make sure to maintain relaxed breaths to enhance the balasana yoga or child pose benefits for the practitioner.
- Regulate your breath in this pose by inhaling deeply through your nostril, imagining the breath going down deep till your navel. This automatically makes you pull your navel towards your spine. Follow this with a powerful yet soft exhale. Repeat this about 7 times in the above pose.
- Enjoy the relaxing and sleep-inducing sleep yoga poses for 30 seconds or a minute till you feel your entire back and shoulder blades open up with no stress knots.
- To complete the asana, gently place your palms under your shoulders and mindfully bring back your body into a sitting position on heels. Ensure to inhale a deep breath while going back to this initial pose.
- Follow this pose with another sleep asana like Shavasana and be assured to enjoy a restful sleep.
Child Pose or Balasana Yoga Benefits
Among all the sleep poses, balasana yoga or child pose benefits stand out for its innate ability to relax the entire body. This pose has specific benefits that target certain body parts that immediately relax the mind and make the body drop deep into sleep. Here are some known balasana yoga or child pose benefits:
- Helps release tension in the chest with the flow in the pose.
- Relaxes the key stress points of the back and neck after a long day’s work and exertion.
- The stretches involved in the pose lengthen and stretch the spine, thereby maintaining good spine health
- Generally, it calms the mind and body with the mindful breath cycle, and body postures are maintained accordingly.
- Encourages strong breathing
- Keeps internal organs supple by gently pressuring or massaging them through the natural flow of the pose.
- Being an excellent pose for encouraging blood circulation, Balasana yoga for sleep naturally helps in lowering blood pressure.
- Last but not least, the Balasana Yoga or Child pose benefits are restricted to quality, pain-free sleep and potential weight loss. Known as an excellent pose to burn fat in the body’s midsection, do not miss out on this pose when you practise a set of yoga postures specifically for weight loss.
Precautions to Take when doing the Balasana Yoga Pose
While this asana is easy to perform and is often considered a beginners pose, it’s very important to keep in mind the following points before attempting the pose:
- Existing illnesses and injuries: Do not ignore existing illnesses that endure severe pain. Practising the pose during such time can result in severe pain, especially if you have injuries around the ankle.
- Forehead placement: Being a beginner, it may be challenging to be flexible enough to touch your forehead on the floor mid-pose. If this is the case, ensure to lift your hips from the sitting on heel position to touch your forehead on the floor flat.
- Empty stomach or light meals: Do not perform this asana on a heavy stomach or right after a feast. The child’s pose requires you to bend forward on your torso, thereby adding pressure on your stomach. It is ideal for performing as soon as you wake up or at least 4 hours post your last meal.
Diet and Balasana Yoga for Sleep
The last point above takes us to a very important factor to consider. Imagine trying to sleep after a hefty, calorie-rich, fatty meal? You are probably familiar with this after a night out or soon after consuming a wedding or festival feast. Our body finds it difficult to digest the meal in time and continue working towards maintaining internal organ health. That’s why it’s highly recommended to eat a light meal at least 3-4 hours before bedtime or indulge in a healthy drink like the Auric Hot Chocolate with Ashwagandha as a good night drink. Filled with the goodness of Ashwagandha, this cocoa mix not only is great for relaxation but is an excellent immunity booster. With the finest cocoa sourced from Islands in Indonesia, the flavour is similar to indulging in a bar of luxury premium chocolate but with the unmissable nutrition of Ashwagandha.
If you are too lazy to prepare a snack before bedtime, consider buying a pack of this mix that can be sealed to maintain freshness levels. Then, mix a spoon of this divine powder with a cup of warm milk, adding a sweetener for taste. Compounds like tryptophan and melatonin (known as the sleep hormone) are found in milk that may help fall asleep, while chocolate naturally enhances the production of serotonin levels, which also enables fast and restful sleep.
Doing the yoga pose after half an hour of this drink may help in assisting in the process of naturally falling asleep following the circadian rhythm.
Yoga is an ancient and proven practice that has helped alleviate many illnesses while relaxing the mind and body. If you are looking for a yoga posture to start your journey with yoga, why not practice the Balasana or Child’s pose and avail the wonderful benefits it offers. The most important one being- to be able to sleep like a child, worry-free!
Authored By: Divya Shankar
About Author: Divya Shankar is a multifaceted content writer with 7+ years of experience. She has exclusive writing expertise in ayurveda.