Balasana is a resting pose. Move into this pose during your yoga practice when you need to take a break and gather up energy. Kneel on your mat, big toes touching, and sit on your heels. Separate your knees about hips-width apart. Exhale as you fold forward, bringing your forehead to the mat, stretching out the back and neck.
Hands can be placed placed in any of the three positions above.
Benefits: stretches back, hips, ankles, and thighs. relieves stress. calms the mind
Contraindications: knee injury, pregnancy
Extended puppy pose
Come into table pose on all fours. Shoulders above wrists, knees below hips. Walk hands forward, dropping chest to floor. Exhale, move hips halfway back toward your heels (keep a slight curve in lower back). Keep your arms active, elbows up, off the floor. Drop forehead to the floor or blanket let the neck relax. You should feel an intense inner-shoulder stretch. Breathe into the back, feeling a long stretch in the spine. Hold 30-60 seconds, then release your buttocks down onto heels.
Benefits: calms the mind, relieves tension and insomnia, stretches spine and shoulders, strengthens and stretches the arms, hips, and upper back, enhances flexibility of spine
Contraindication: high blood pressure