Use child’s pose to connect with yourself and your breath. 

Child’s Pose is the ultimate self-check-in. For most of us, the majority of our day is spent in a state of external awareness. Much of our time is devoted to interacting with others and taking in immense amounts of stimuli. Child’s pose (balasana) allows us a chance to reconnect with our own inner guide. It’s an opportunity to shift to an internal state of awareness where we allow ourselves to tune in with our breath, body, emotions, and mind. It’s like a bear cave of our own making – curled up in a ball with forehead on the floor, chest to knees folded on to the thighs.

It is also a powerful pose where we can to connect with our back body. As we are frontally oriented beings, we rarely have the opportunity to focus our awareness in the back body. In child’s pose, the back body is the only exposed part of our anatomy and therefore receives the spotlight. Next time you are in balasana, experiment with the following exercise to expand your awareness of your back body: 

Become aware of your breath. Feel your back body rise with your inhale and draw in with the exhale. After several breaths, focus your awareness on the inhale traveling down the spine and the exhale traveling back up. Finally, expand your awareness laterally like you have gills by feeling the ribs open and expand with your inhale and contract with the exhale.

Childs Pose is an instant personal sanctuary.
If you’re overwhelmed, frazzled, or need of some alone time? Treat yourself to a little self-love by escapng into child’s pose. Think of your mat as your own oasis or island and afford yourself a brief interlude in child’s pose. 
This simple act of  blissful surrender can become a sanctuary from stress and turmoil and als have a positive influence on your emotional state of being. The next time you find yourself in need of a little support or a quick reset take a few deep breaths in child’s pose. This simple pose can shift your perspective in a moment or two.
Invent your own child’s pose 
While child’s pose may seem pretty easy as far as asanas go, we can add our own interpretation to the pose to suit our personal needs.
When hips feel a little tight, separate your knees wide and bring the big toes together. This variation is also great if your pregnant and feel squished and confined in traditional child’s pose whee the legs are side by side. It encourages the chest to melt toward the earth and the hips to open more deeply.
When hips remain uncomfortably tight or knee pain is troubling you simply place a a rolled or folded blanket between your calves and hamstrings. 

If you feel the need to become more grounded then bring your arms out in front of you, palms down, press your hands into the mat focus your awareness into your hands, you forehead and feet pressing into the earth.
To feel more spiritually awakened and devotional try placing your arms out in front of you, turning your palms toward one another and pressing them together in prayer. Stay here or bend your elbows and bring your hands behind your head, maybe resting on your upper back if you have the flexibility in your shoulders. This also goes a lovely opening into the triceps.
For a deep lateal stretch walk hands over to the right and press your left palm into the mat while anchoring your left sitting bone down. Repeat on the left side with your right palm pressing down and right sitting bone grounded heavily .
Next  time a yoga teacher instructs you to shift to child’s pose even if your were not a big fan of child’s pose before maybe reading this will have given you a desire to explore it further and be thankful for for the benefits it reaps.

Elis teaches regulate weekly classes in Wst London and overseas yoga retreats in Turkey and India. for more information about her classes and holidays visit