Child's Pose. Coming Back To Goodness

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Child's Pose. Coming Back To Goodness

by Mike Munro

Welcome to our first post in a series about yoga postures and sequences taught at Therapeutic Approach Yoga Studio. In this series you will find information on the basic posture and contemplations about the pose along with practice suggestions for making the posture accessible.

The basic position of Child's Pose is generally considered a good starting point for practice as well as an important resting position to keep the body from overworking or straining during practice. This basic position involves pointing the toes back to open the front of the ankles and sitting the buttocks back towards the heels until the knees and hips are folded and the torso can come towards or between the thighs. Keeping the knees closely together or spaced are both viable options: having them wider allows for a deeper fold in the hip joints, while keeping them together creates more pressure on the abdomen.

The Position

The arms could be outstretched (as in the photo above) or alongside the body outside the legs with shoulders' softened. Even though this pose is often described as gentle it does require a deep fold in the hips and knees, and a stretch in the anterior shins and ankles. It is great for maintainig and improving flexiblity in these areas. However, if knees, hips and/or ankles are feeling strained,  foams or bolsters can be used to support the hips on the heels. With hip restrictions, which are very common, it may be necessary to move into the "puppy stretch." This stretch involves the arms placed forward on the matt to give space to the hip joints, slowy working back into the pose until it is just enough. Generally injury can be avoided in any pose by finding the balance between "not enough" and "too much"-- finding a sweet spot in the depths of the pose where the breath is still able to flow.

The Opportunity

One also has the oppotunity here to take a more inward mental focus in Child's Pose. The method is quite simply to breathe and bring attention to the body position and sensations that arise.  In so doing, the shift from the outside world of daily life and connundrums to the inner world of one's own body and being can be made. Ultimately the purpose of yoga is to re-familiarize  with one's true nature. With this position and the breathe deepening you have an invitation to look inward, and glimpse the basic goodness of one's being.

Like a child we are always innocent and good at our very essense.

Seeing and feeling this is the essence of yoga.