Go ahead, be a child….

Child’s pose is a calming asana that allows you to surrender to gravity. It facilitates a state of non-doing and allows you to draw your attention inward, to reflect. It is a resting pose, and can be used between more challenging poses, or too come back to as a sort of “home base” at any point in a yoga class when you just need to slow down. It is also a great pose to include in a gentle before bed ritual to let go of a busy day a prepare for sleep. There are 2 variations you can try:

The first shown here is “wide-legged child’s pose” or “extended child’s pose”.

Benefits:

• It gently stretches the hips, thighs and ankles

• Calms the brain and reduces fatigue

• Relieves back and neck pain

• Lengthens the spine

• Calms the entire body and reduces anxiety

• Extended childs pose also opens the shoulders, and chest, and elongates the side body

• This version often works well for those who suffer from acid reflux as it allows more room for the abdominal organs with legs apart

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BEGIN on hands and knees

• Place knees mat width apart, toes to touch behind you

• Begin to draw your sit-bones (the bony prominences you sit on) back towards your heels

• Slowly draw you upper body down towards the mat, walking your hands out in front of you, shoulder width apart

• Allow your forehead to come down to the mat if this is available to you

• If not, place a block on the mat to bring the floor up to you so that your forehead has a place to rest

• Inhale deeply, feeling your ribs expand out towards your thighs, and as you exhale, allow your chest to draw closer down to the mat, and hips to sink back closer towards your heels

If you have knee problems and this pose causes you discomfort, roll up a blanket and place it behind the knees between the back of the thigh and back of the calves to allow more space and take compression out of the knee
If ankles are tight, place the rolled up blanket on the floor under the ankles to lessen the angle and the pressure on the ankle

Classic Child’s pose

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• This version works well for those who suffer from shoulder issues, as it allows the shoulder to rest, rather than placing them in full flexion.

• This also allows supported rounding of the spine that can be particularly comforting for those suffering back pain

Here’s How

• Start in the same way you started extended child’s pose, on hands and knees, but keep the knees closer together and parallel to one another this time

• Draw sit bones back towards your heels, and begin to lower your torso to your thighs and forehead to the floor, using a block to bring the floor up to you to rest your forehead upon if you can’t comfortably reach the floor.

• This time, instead of extended the arms out in front of you, as we did in the first version, draw your arms alongside your thighs, with fingers pointed in the same direction as your toes.

• You can use the same blanket modifications for knees and ankles if needed as we did in the first version

• Stay here as long as needed relaxing into the pose, breathing slow inhales and exhales surrendering to gravity