Balasana / anterior spine extension

Also known as Child’s pose

* Kneeling sit back on your heels
* Keeping your toes together, but not overlapping, take your knees apart so that the inner thighs are the same distance apart as your outer ribs.

* Keep your sitting bones close to your heels by breathing into calmness and releasing tight body tissue in the legs and waist. Extend you body forwards from the hips, extending the front groins as you bring your hands to the floor in front of the body shoulder width apart (can be wider where shoulders cause tightness in the neck or the upper back).
* Pressing into your fingertips, lift the breast bone, draw in the upper back and create further extension in the spine.
* Try to feel that you can extend the anterior spine (front, or side closest to the floor), from the sacro-lumbar joint (where your sacrum /back pelvis/ meets your lower back the root of your waist) to the bas of the neck.
* As you breath, keep your focus on the tissue release and breast bone extension and allow your head to descend naturally over a few breaths. (If the anterior spine deadens as a result, begin again, but lower the head to some support/ yoga block ).

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The Buddha reminds us of the right approach in his famous metaphor of the raft from the Majjhima Nikaya.

In it, he describes a situation, where a man standing on the near shore, which is dangerous, needs to get to the far shore, which is safe.

There are no bridges or ferries so he builds a raft; it is not fancy, but adequate to get him across. Once on that far shore it has served its purpose, and a wise man leaves it where it is, without dragging it with him as an encumbrance.

— Buddha