Utthita Balasana - Extended Pose of the ChildUtthita Balasana – Extended Pose of the Child by Sue Fuller

This posture is perfect for all levels.  It is often practised as a resting posture after cat or downward facing dog.

Utthita Balasana or Extended Pose of the Child gently stretches the muscles of the back, arms, shoulders, bottom, the tops of the feet and the fronts of the shins. It provides a time for the body to rest and recover between stronger postures or during sun salutations. 

It is extremely soothing and nurturing and allows the mind and also the body to rest and recover.

It is suitable for all levels, however if knees are an issue it is worth avoiding this posture and resting on your back, with the knees bent and the soles of the feet on the ground.  During pregnancy practise this posture with the knees wide.

Begin on all fours in Cat (Majaryasana) with your feet pointed so that the tops of the feet are on the ground.  Release your bottom onto your heels and relax your upper body towards the floor, resting your forehead to the ground and extend your arms straight ahead softening the forearms to the ground.  Breathe slowly and hold for as long as is required.

Focus on breathing slowly and allowing your body and mind to relax and soften.

Another variation of this posture is Balasana which translates to mean pose of the child, this is performed with the arms alongside the body.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher with a range of over 60 audio yoga classes. Including Gentle Yoga classes for the absolute beginner and a range of beginner classes that guide you through techniques and practices to help you establish a strong foundation in Yoga.  Classes are available on both CD and MP3 from www.wellbeingworldonline.com or from www.yoga2hear.co.uk .