Ahh, Child's Pose. If you’re anything like me, you dream about the moment your yoga instructor tells you to find your way to this tasty pose at the end of a long, sweaty flow. There is something so nourishing and nurturing about this pose, especially when it is placed between long standing sequences.
Child’s Pose is a true resting pose, and one that you can hold for long periods of time without the need for props. I personally feel that Child's Pose is often overlooked and neglected, so let’s spend some time shining a light on all that is wonderful about this glorious pose.
1. It’s super calming for the mind.
Placing your head (namely your ‘third eye’ or the spot just between your eyebrows) down on the mat has an instant calming and soothing effect on the brain. The inward fold of the body, with the eyes looking back towards you sends a signal to your brain that you’re safe, and that it’s OK to rest.
This pose is amazing if you’re finding yourself in a place where you have many thoughts swirling around in your head.
2. It’s great for your digestion.
Doing Child's Pose with your knees closer together, so that your belly is resting on your thighs, is a great way to massage the internal organs which may help move your digestion along. Taking long, slow deep inhales and exhales in this pose will push your abdomen into your legs, and then draw it back up again.
Doing this repeatedly is literally going to manually massage your intestinal tract. This is especially helpful if you have gas! Yes, I said it. It happens to all of us and that’s OK. This pose will help you move things through.
3. It elongates the lower back.
If you sit at a desk all day, stand for long periods of time, or are otherwise alive in the world, chances are you have some compression in your lower back.
This is because we tend to ‘dump’ our weight down there, and usually aren’t consciously pulling up and engaging your lower abdominals all day long (which you may be doing too, in which case, good for you!) Folding over your legs immediately reverses the splaying of the tailbone that can cause lower back pain.
Child’s Pose allows you to open up and stretch this area of the body.
4. It opens up the hips.
Like your lower back, your hips may be taking a beating in your day-to-day life. Sitting in a chair for long periods of time can actually tighten all of the muscles in and around your hips.
By taking your knees wide apart in your Child's Pose so that your belly can relax in between them, you will be getting a nice stretch and opening through the hips. This is going to help reduce any hip pain you may be having, as well as help improve or maintain the health of your hips throughout your life.
5. It reminds you that resting is a good thing.
If you love to push yourself in your practice, you may be tempted to skip resting postures in classes, or to avoid doing them in your own practice. But remember that in yoga we are striving to cultivate a sense of balance. It’s not all about being at 100% effort all the time.
Taking time to rest in your practice may actually help you to cultivate the ability to take time out in your everyday life. You may find that you are better able to stop and re-charge your batteries. I always find that it is amazing how much my life on the mat mirrors my life off of the mat, and vice versa.
If you are looking to cultivate a better relationship with resting in your life, I highly recommend Child's Pose and other resting postures on the mat.
Do you love Child’s Posture? Do you have other postures that you like to take as a rest? Let me know what you think!