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Hatha Yoga Tip

CHILD’S POSE – BALASANA – Relaxing in a forward bend

This pose stretches the back and muscles around the hips. The pose can be performed after back bends such as the cobra and locust where the muscles have been tightly contracted or after the headstand or half spinal twist.

Begin from sitting on the heels and leaning forward until the forehead comes to rest on the floor. Extend arms in front palms down on the mat stretching the back forward away from the hips. Drop the hips down and ease them back towards the heels. Then lay the arms back alongside the body with hands beside the feet and palms upwards on the mat. Relax the arms. If it is difficult to sit on the heels and the forehead does not reach the floor, (as in pregnancy) , then keep the knees apart with big toes towards each other. Fold arms in front of you on the mat with hands one on top of the other and rest the forehead on the folded arms. Take at least 8 deep rhythmical breaths before the next asana.

BENEFITS: Stretches out the spine gently and soothes the back muscles. Relaxes spinal ligaments Spinal stretching invigorates the nervous system Relieves compression of lumbar intervertebral discs Relaxes the head and shoulders. Eases the muscles around the hips. Brings flow of blood to the brain, rejuvenating.

I am childlike in my Swabhava. So I mix with all. I become one with all. I am ever happy and joyful and make others also happy and joyful. I am full of educative humour. I radiate joy though humour. – Swami Sivananda

We should not confuse relaxation with laziness. In infancy the child relaxes naturally, some adults possess this power of relaxation. Such persons are noted for their endurance, strength, vigour and vitality. – Swami Vishnudevananda

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

There is no pleasure in things finite. The Infinite alone is bliss itself. – Swami Sivananda

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SIDDHIS [Sanskrit]: Psychic powers manifested as by-products of spiritual advancement through personal Sadhana practice, such as meditation, mantra repetition and yoga.

Commentary: Siddhis that are brought into the present life by birth indicate their attainment in a previous life, but it does not guarantee that the individual is making proper use of them in this life. Those gained through chemical means are not necessarily associated with any level of spirituality at all, and can be easily governed by the ego. Siddhis achieved by Mantra repetition or tapas, austerities, are generally of a very high order as long as they are performed for attaining God-Realization rather than personal or material gain. Powers that come from ‘samadhi’ are the purest, for they come to the aspirant without being desired. It must be remembered that siddhis are not the aim but a by-product of the path to God-Realization. Those who misuse Siddhi power for destroying others are themselves destroyed in the end.

Example: The repetition of Gayatri or Pranava or OM Namah Sivaya, OM Namo Narayanaya, OM Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one and a quarter lakh of times with Bhava, faith and devotion will bestow a Mantra Siddhi.

When you love God, you love everything. All are manifestations of God. – Sri Swami Sivananda