As we continue our exploration of transformation this month, we have found ourselves often resting in child's pose, imagining we are eggs about to hatch into tadpoles, caterpillars or birds. It has been a great reminder that stillness can be full of powerful potential.
In both adult and children's yoga classes, child's pose provides a home base, a place to return to in between vigorous sequences and a perfect spot to connect to our breathing.
"While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about." - Angela Schwindt
Child's pose allows us to slow down, tune out from the noise and distractions happening around us and draw our focus inward, calming our mind and nervous system. As we rest our forehead (the spot between our eyebrows) on the floor or a block, it signals our brain we are safe and that it's okay to relax.
Read on to learn the top 3 benefits of relaxing in child's pose...
Benefit 1 - Calm the Mind
We are all constantly being bombarded with an overwhelming amount of sensory input. This pose is an opportunity to tune everything out and focus on ourselves, relieving stress and fatigue. Also, we rarely consciously breathe into the back of our torso and child's pose provide a great opportunity to explore.
Try this: Child's Pose with Deep Breathing
- From tabletop (hands and knees), lower your hips toward your heels and rest your forehead to the floor or a block. Knees can be together or apart.
- Extend your arms forward with palms facing down.
- Relax your forearms, wrists and elbows to the floor as you soften your belly onto the tops of your thighs.
- Breathe in for a slow count of 5 feeling your lungs and ribs expand along the sides and back of your torso.
- Breath out for a slow count of 5 to soften more deeply into the pose.
Benefit 2 - Rest and Digest
Child's pose signals safety, activating our parasympathetic nervous system, otherwise know as our "rest and digest" system. In child's pose, our breathing deepens, our heart rate slows and our digestive organs receive a lovely massage. Try this pose with your knees together to increase the pressure on the abdominal organs to relieve gas, bloating or indigestion.
Benefit 3 - Long spine and open hips
Child's pose gently stretches the muscles along our spine as well as our hips, thighs and ankles. Try practicing with your arms alongside your body and palms facing up to also release the upper back and shoulders.
There are lots of fun variations of child's pose. You can add a twist to further massage your internal organs and stretch along the side of your body. You might also play with our partner variation "Iguana/Rock."
Try this: Iguana / Rock
Kneel back-to-back with your partner. Keep your backs touching as one person bends forward into child's pose and the other rests back onto them opening their chest and shoulders. Take at least three deep breaths and then switch.
It is not always easy to let ourselves rest. Even our yoga practice can become competitive if we let it and FOMO is real. Next time your mind is racing and you feel the anxiety start to mount, try taking a 3-5 minute break in child's pose and give yourself permission to rest.
"Our children can be our greatest teachers if we are humble enough to receive their lessons." - Bryan McGill
Just like the king of the jungle who sleeps up to 20 hours per day, the more you rest, the more vitality and fierceness you will command...