In every yoga class we are reminded to take child’s pose whenever a class is to intense for us. Classes can be come too intense for many reasons, for some it comes out of emotional issues, mental clutter, and or physical sensation. Though some students have a hard time taking child’s when it is necessary, this is only from ego. Sometimes the flows we could do last week, are reeking havoc on us this week, so we need to take a rest even though we did not need to last time. It is part of yoga to listen to our Selves and understand the moments when we need rest.
Child’s is not just for when we decide we need rest, but often times used in flows to help us transition or to help us understand what is going on in our bodies. Often times in flows we use Ado Mukha Savasana to pause and reconnect with our Selves. However in more powerful flows, those focusing on inversions or arm balances, Child’s pose is used as this pause because it gives our bodies more of a rest than Ado Mukha Savasana.
How to Practice
Child’s is pretty simple and easier for some than others. Coming from Ado Mukha Savasana, exhale to Table pose with knees under hips and wrists under shoulders. From here bring your seat to your feet, either widening the knees to allow the upper body to rest on the earth for a deeper rest in the hips; or with the knees together for a deeper release in the shoulders. Then exhale bringing your upper body near the earth or on the thighs, and bringing the third eye on the earth. If your knees are together, bring your hands to your feet, if your knees are apart bring your hands over your head.
Taking breaks between flows and poses, as well as when the body asks for it, helps the body repair. When we understand the time to take breaks and honor it also helps keep the changes in the body. Working the body too hard or pushing past the edge can cause the muscles to tear and snap back together undoing all the beautiful work we have started with our yoga. However this can be avoided when taking the proper rests.
Child’s pose is almost the ultimate counter pose for many other asanas. When keeping the knees together it helps release the left over tension that can build up in the shoulders from inversions and arm balances. Whereas when the knees are apart can help counter hip openers and deep forward folds.
Also Child’s can be used as a transition pose for coming into Salamba Sirsasana, Pincha Mayurasana, and other inversions.