When we start to feel that we are taking care of ourselves and as we go deeper in our practice and land in trust, we will eliminate all that is no longer useful to us and find peace. Through the practice of letting go and letting be we can re-write our story.
As with all restorative poses, our aim is to feel grounded enough to fully relax and release tension. I invite you to practice the pose of the month for 10-20 minutes / day (use a timer). Even per week is fine. While restorative poses look easy, that doesn't mean they are. It can be difficult to really relax and remain silent with your breath for 20 minutes! Thoughts aren't so easy to let go of. Judgments may enter wondering what the point of this is. If you find yourself having difficulty, start with 5 minutes and slowly allow yourself relaxation. Conscious relaxation. The need to strive and drive keeps us in flight or fight. We need deep relaxation to reverse the damage on our nervous systems.
Read more about how Restorative Yoga heals here.
Child's Pose (with or without props)
Benefits: Support for lower back. Eases menstrual cramps. Quiets the mind. Forward folds allow inward reflection.
This is an expansion of last month’s pose: Super Supported Child’s Pose. That version has all of the props and is most luxurious- the Cadillac version if you will. I wanted to show other versions in case you don’t have all of the props and/or want to drop into the pose more often and quickly. Because this version is less supported, you may not want to hold it as long. Let your body guide you.
Please note that while we do the prop-less version of child's pose in almost every yoga class, this is not an easy pose! Most of us are not used to sitting on the floor or used to spending time on our knees and lower legs for extended periods of time. The modified version shown below is well propped up to aid in holding for a longer period of time. The un-propped version should not be held for too long. However, with all restorative poses, we don't want to hold with discomfort. Listen to your body and modify.
Props: One sticky mat. One or Two blankets. One rectangle bolster.
Prepare: Place your bolster lengthwise along the center of your mat. Have a blanket folded neatly into a rectangle ready and easy to grab.
Shape: Come to sit facing the bolster with your knees along the sides of the bolster. Your toes will be going towards each other behind you. In this version of Child's Pose our head is level or slightly below our pelvis. Feel free to add more blankets to suit your shape draped on the bolster or between your upper thighs and torso. Come forward and rest your front body on your bolster. Place your rectangle folded blanket between your heels and hips. This will help fill that gap if any, and aid in the comfort of holding the pose longer. If you are chilly or wish for more grounding lay a blanket over your lower back. Bring one cheek to one side. Be sure to switch your head to the other side half way between your pose if that is available to you. Set your timer to relieve anticipation.
Practice: Make any adjustments necessary to ensure that you are comfortable. When ready to settle into pose, enjoy several long breaths to allow yourself to relax. Feel the support from the floor, or imagine mother earth below you. Relax, and deepen into this grounded feeling for 10 to 20 minutes (shorten this time if there is discomfort to your knees or any discomfort of any kind). Come to notice your breath. Take note of your inhales and exhales. No need to change your breathing pattern just observe. Let go of the thoughts that enter your mind. If that becomes difficult, come back to noticing your breath. Close your eyes if you wish.
To come out, deepen your breath. Hold your belly in and take your time to come up to an easy sitting pose. Stack your hands over your heart. Set an intention to stay aware of your breath when thoughts overwhelm you. Namaste.