Child’s pose is a seated forward bend that stretches and releases your spine and lower back. You can use this pose as a warm-up pose, a resting pose or a counter pose after a back bend. Often referred to as the pose ‘of courage’ it is suggested to go here at any time during a yoga practice if and when your body is saying, time-out or I need a rest.
Begin by sitting on your heels with your shoulders above your hips. Release forward on an exhale and gently place your chest on your thighs bringing your forehead to the floor and arms forward, soften the face and listening to your breath.
Can also be entered from Table Pose.
Slowly walk your fingertips forward and away from your shoulders unless this is not comfortable for the shoulders than bring the arms back next to the legs, palms facing up.
If the arms are extended forward either relax your forearms or reach with the fingers and let the forearms gently lift of the mat.
Lengthen the sides of your body by extending from your hips to your shoulders and feel your spine lengthen as you drop the weight of your hips toward your heels and relax.
Do not let your body weight rest on your neck and forehead. Listen to the breath and softening with each breath.
Flow to: Up-Dog and continue to Down-Dog or come to Table Pose for Cat/Cow
Physical Benefits: Alleviates head, neck and chest pain. Opens the pelvic floor, hips ad low back. Stretches ankles, knees and hips. Opens the upper back.
Mental Benefits: Calms the mind, reduces stress, lessens fatigue.
Counter Pose: Back bend
Adaptations/Variations: Puppy with knees over feet or add a thickly folded blanket between your heels and buttocks and sit on the blanket. Can add a bolster between the legs and under the chest/head. Can also use the forearms as pillows under the forehead.
Contraindications: Pregnancy (keep the knees apart and do not place pressure on the abdominal region. Ankle, knee and hip surgery. High blood pressure.