Child’s pose, also known as *balasana*, is a beginner’s yoga pose designed to relax the body and mind. The name derives from the Sanskrit words *bala*, meaning “young and child-like,” and *asana*, meaning “seat or a seated posture.” Child’s pose can be used as a resting pose during yoga practice before and after more advanced poses.\n\nChild’s pose boasts a few benefits for the mind and body, such as:\n\n1. __Stretching__: Child’s pose gently stretches your spine, thighs, hips, and ankles.\n2. __Relaxation__: Along with deep breathing exercises, child’s pose can calm your mind, reducing anxiety and fatigue.\n3. __Blood circulation__: Child’s pose can increase blood circulation to your head.\n4. __Digestion__: The light compression on your stomach in this pose can activate digestion. \n5. __Tension relief__: Child’s pose can release tension in your lower back muscles, chest, hamstrings, and shoulders.\nFollow these step-by-step instructions for practicing child’s pose.\n\n1. __Rest on your knees__. Kneel on your yoga mat, resting your buttocks against your heels. Place your palms on your thighs and bring your feet close together. Inhale and exhale slowly, allowing your shoulders to relax.\n2. __Bow forward__. In your own time, lower your upper body onto your thighs on an exhale. Extend your arms out in front of you with your palms face down on the mat. Keep your big toes touching and spread your knees wide enough for your torso to lower between your thighs. If pregnant, be sure to spread your knees wide enough to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen. \n3. __Lower your forehead__. Rest your forehead on your yoga mat and relax your neck. For added comfort, consider placing a blanket, bolster, pillow, or your hands beneath your forehead. Close your eyes and relax your jaw. If you experience a headache during child’s pose, slowly lift your back and shoulders, keeping your neck relaxed, and sit up to take a break. \n4. __Consider variations__. If your hip joints are tight, consider keeping your knees together and lowering your torso on top of your thighs. For a more passive pose, let your arms relax behind you along your thighs with palms facing up. Place a rolled towel below your shins to take the pressure off your ankles. Use caution when practicing child’s pose if you’ve suffered a knee injury.\n5. __Relax__. Allow your muscles to loosen while you rest against your mat. For added support, place a folded blanket or pillow between your calves and the bottom of your thighs. Keep your eyes closed and focus on your body, staying mindful of any physical sensations. \n6. __Breathe__. Explore different breathing exercises while practicing child’s pose. Inhale slowly, feeling your lungs expand against your back body. While exhaling, concentrate on releasing tension from your back and stomach. Continue this breathing exercise for one to three minutes. \n\nProper form and technique are essential to ensure the safety and effectiveness of a yoga practice. If you have a previous or pre-existing health condition, consult your physician before practicing yoga. Postures may be modified based on your individual needs.\n\nUnroll your mat, get a [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com), and get your *om* on with Donna Farhi, one of the most celebrated figures in the world of yoga. Follow along as she teaches you the importance of breathing and finding your center as well as how to build a strong foundational practice that will restore your body and mind. \nWhether you’re an experienced yogi or brand new to the practice, child’s pose can encourage mindfulness and relaxation.