Balasana is the pose of the child. It represents a child in the womb and it’s everyone’s favorite resting pose after a sequence of challenging asanas. In this forward bend with our belly between our folded legs, we slow down our breathing and take the time to let our mind and body absorb the practice. Balasana gives a sense of security and shelter while stretching our back muscles over our heart. However, there’s certainly nothing childish about Child’s pose. Read on!
RISING ABOVE YOUR EGO THROUGH SURRENDER
Children are great teachers. Up to the age of 7 and especially when they live close to nature, young children are still very much connected to their higher consciousness. What they express (if you let them) is often purer and less filtered by the ego. Most adults seem to have lost this vital contact with the Divine source and ego-driven, we often don’t recognize children as bearers of wisdom.
According to the ancient yoga scriptures, such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Bhagavad Gita, the ultimate goal of yoga lies in our surrender to a higher power and by doing so we rise above our small-minded ego. This surrender, however, does not exempt you from accountability or responsibility as a human being. Also, humility rooted in cosmic awareness has nothing to do with disgracing, dishonoring, or victimizing yourself. A common mistake made by us all. Knowing the ego, however, for the enfant terrible that it is (hence its bad reputation), it will tenaciously fight for its existence and try to convince you otherwise.
Humility is such an underestimated superpower!
But Yoga is clear on this. Feeding or puffing up your ego is not the way to long-lasting bliss. It simply creates a temporary illusion of strength and confidence. Ego-tripping might impress other ego’s but it makes you smaller in the all-knowing eye of the Universe. When you recognize something bigger outside your small self you are in harmony with Cosmic Consciousness. But it takes will and practice to rise above your ego and reconnect to your higher Self.
Therefore, in Balasana, we humbly bow down lowering our mind (and ego) below our heart. We surrender to the all-pervading Divine that opens up the pathways of grace. Grace is what we need, as we are all dependent on something that is greater than ourselves.
We often forget this and take many things for granted – the body we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink. The truth is, it may all be taken away from us at any moment in time. What good is your ego to you then? Surrender will be all that’s left to you.
GROWN UP CHILD’S POSE
Balasana invites us to cultivate the childlike quality to be open again, to start fresh at the beginning. Therefore it’s an excellent pose to turn to before and after challenging asanas such as inversions (handstand etc.).
In unconditional surrender, we truly open ourselves up to give and receive (instead of taking) by Grace. The palms of our hands folded open next to our feet symbolize this ability. Our third-eye center, the gateway to our higher knowledge in the middle of our forehead between the eyebrows, is simultaneously stimulated by gentle pressure on the floor.
We humbly surrender our head to our heart
while gently pressing the third-eye power button
to the top floor of our Knowledge!
When we’re in this innocent and receptive state of mind, it’s easiest to be transformed by our yoga practice. It might sound contradictory, but by childlike surrendering, we actually grow up to be stronger adults. We become better parents for instance and listen more attentively to our children.
So remember this next time you’re in Balasana. Instead of clinging to the ego, relax and surrender to the sacred, heavenly bond within you. Cultivate and grow tall in faith that the Universe is always taking good care of you. And if your ego-child starts to complain and act up again, you just silence it with a graceful and childlike giggle!