- A healing, restful pose – useful any time a break is needed
- Gently stretches the spine and is always a nice counterpose for backbends
- Gentle compression of the stomach and chest benefits the organs of digestion
- Psychologically soothing when feeling cold, anxious, or vulnerable
- Can relieve back and neck pain when the head is supported
- If the knees are fairly close together, rocking gently side to side can help stimulate the flow of blood and lymph fluids in the upper chest and breast tissues.
- If you have diarrhea or are pregnant
- Can be uncomfortable just after eating
- If knee issues exist, you may need to place a towel or blanket between thighs and calves or avoid the pose altogether.
- You may need a blanket or other padding under the ankles to reduce discomfort on the top of the feet.
Getting Into the Pose:
- Begin by sitting on your heels and then slowly fold forward, bringing your chest to your thighs and your forehead to the earth.
Alternatives & Options:
- Can be done with arms stretched forward, which may avoid placing too much pressure on the neck (this reduces the shoulder relaxation).
- If you cannot get your buttocks to your heels, the head will have a lot of weight on it. Support the neck by placing the forehead on hands or on a bolster.
- Allow the knees to be as close together as is comfortable, but they do not have to touch. If there is any uncomfortable pinching in the lower belly and tops of the front hips, separate the knees wider.
- You can do this as a preparation for the Frog by spreading the knees farther apart halfway through the pose, while continuing to sit on the heels.
- Many students love to place a bolster under their chest.
Coming Out of the Pose:
- Use your hands to push the floor away and slowly roll up.
- A counterpose is not normally needed after this pose.
Meridians & Organs Affected:
- The Spleen and Stomach meridians are compressed while the Kidneys and Urinary Bladder meridians are stretched.
- The spine and ankle.
Recommended Hold Times:
- As long as you want
- If used as a counterpose, hold for up to one minute.
- If used as a yin pose on its own, hold for three to five minutes. If you cannot get your head to the floor, five minutes may be too long.
Similar Yang Asanas:
- Balasana or Garbhasana
- This pose can be used as a preparation for Straddle pose or deeper forward bends like Snail.