Balasana – Child’s Pose

Used frequently during Voodoo Yoga classes, Child’s Pose is an excellent resting pose. In addition to resting the body during yoga practice, this pose also rests our minds, slows our breath and encourages stress release.

A great stretch for your ankles, thighs and hips, Child’s Pose can also help to relieve neck and back pain.

During Voodoo Yoga classes, we can stay in this pose anywhere from 30 seconds to several minutes, depending on the style of the class. At any time during our classes if you need a break we encourage you to return to child’s pose and re-join when you are ready.

  1. Kneel on the floor, buttocks resting on heels and big toes touching. Separate your knees to as far as is comfortable for you, creating a deep stretch in the hips. A folded blanket can be placed between your thighs and calves to support you in this position. You can also keep your knees together if there is pain or discomfort.
  2. On an exhale bend your torso forward, your chest should be on top of your thighs, and rest your forehead on the mat. Your forehead can be supported with bolsters, blankets or your hands. Lengthen your tailbone away from the back of your pelvis.
  3. Lay your arms down alongside your torso with palms facing up and relax the front of your shoulders. This encourages deep relaxation. Alternatively lengthen your arms out in front of you with palms facing down. Arms long is a more active pose and does not encourage as deep relaxation.
  4. Relax and breathe consciously and fully into the back of your torso. Imagine that on each inhalation your back is making a dome in the back of your torso, reaching up to the ceiling. On each exhalation release the front of your torso a little deeper into the pose.
  5. To release the pose use your hands to walk your torso upright to table top or to sit back on your heels.

It is important to note that pregnant women and those who have had a recent knee injury should avoid this pose during home practice.

Triangle Pose

We know yoga is great for us, but sometimes it’s easy to overlook exactly how certain poses affect the body.

Triangle pose, for instance, has affects on several areas of the body, and the mind. Benefits include:

  • Strengthening the whole leg, but more so the thighs, as well as the arms and torso.
  • It opens the hips and massages the pelvic organs, and can be helpful for issues with the reproductive system.
  • Improves flexibility in the spine and can reduce back pain.
  • Massages the abdominal organs and can be used to treat digestion problems.
  • Increases physical and mental equilibrium can be used to deal with stress.

So how do you do it?

Stand with feet comfortably apart (about 4 – 5 feet). Turn your front foot so that it is at a 90-degree angle, with toes pointing towards the top of your mat. The centre of your knee cap should be aligned with the centre of your ankle. Pivot your other foot in slightly. Heels should be aligned. Lift through the arches of your feet, rooting down at the ankles and ensuring equal distribution of weight.

As you inhale, raise your arms to should height so that they are parallel with the ground, palms facing down. Reach out from fingertip to fingertip.

Keeping arms at shoulder height, as you exhale tilt the front hip back and extend the torso over the front leg. Keep your shoulders aligned over the leg, do not drop forward. Grab hold of your ankle or outer shin, or use a block if needed. If you feel you can, put your fingertips or palm on the floor outside of your shin. Inhale.

On your next exhale twist to look at your top hand. The fingertips on your top hand should be pointing towards the sky. Hold for as long as you wish.

Come out of the posture on an inhale.

Pivot feet to repeat on other side.

From here there are other variations that you can explore such as Bound Triangle and Extended Triangle Pose.