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Child’s Pose: Yoga for Back Pain

What is Child’s Pose?

Child’s Pose is a resting posture found in many modern Yoga practices. You will see this posture often in Beginners Yoga, as well as a pose to rest in between difficult poses or sequences, and as a counter pose to inversions (more advanced postures). 

Benefits of Child’s Pose 

When performing Child’s Pose you will experience quite a few wonderful benefits for the body and the mind!

  • Relieves Back Pain If you’re feeling tension in the lower back than Child’s Pose is a good posture to start with to help relieve some of that. By folding your upper body over your legs, you're taking the pressure off your back giving it a break from the tightness and discomfort. Also allows for a deep stretch through the back up the spine to the neck. 

  • Aids in Digestion Cramps and Bloating can cause a lot of discomfort in the body and even make you feel tired and sluggish. In Child’s Pose the belly is allowed to rest on/between the thighs and as you breathe the belly expands massaging the internal organs - particularly the digestive system. Helping to relieve any discomfort. 

  • Open the Hips Much like the back, if you feel tension in your hips, then you’ll love Child’s Pose! Throughout the day our hips feel the pressure from walking, from even surfaces, and day to day activity. In Child’s Pose you start with your knees together and as an option you can begin to widen your legs a little at a time as you fold forward; providing a gentle stretch for your hips. Relieving pain and helping to prevent more issues from arising in the future. 

  • Stretches Ankles, Shoulders Thighs Throughout your day your shoulders, legs, and ankles do a lot to mobilize your body. They can become sore, fatigued, and cause problems long-term if not cared for. Postures like Child’s Pose can help prevent any issues from happening. The motion of folding forward with you legs beneath provides a wonderful stretch for the ankles and for your Quadriceps, the front of your thighs. Reaching your arms out in front at the same time lengthens and provides a deep stretch for the shoulders. 

  • Fight Fatigue If you’re looking for a quick way to energize your body, look no further! Child’s Pose not only helps to relieve pain/tension, stretch the body, and aid in digestion, but it also gives you a physical and mental boost. By allowing a few moments for the body to relax and recoup as well as giving you a mental break from your day where you don’t have to do anything else but relax for a moment; you’ll come out of Child’s Pose feeling re-energized! 

How to do Child’s Pose

  • Having a soft flooring to practice on; either a Yoga Mat, large rug, or carpeted surface; come down to your hands and knees. 

  • Bring your knees together. Send your hips back towards your feet as you lower your head to the ground and reach your arms out in front on the floor.

  • Close your eyes and let your arms, legs, and belly completely relax. 

  • Take a few deep breaths - inhale through the nose and out through the mouth fully releasing each breath, allowing the body to soften.

  • Feel the gentle stretch through the low back, the front of the thighs, shoulders, down to your ankles. You can also take this time to circle your wrists or rock your head side to side.

  • Optional Variations: You can bring your knees out wider, which will allow your upper to come closer to the ground, giving you a deeper stretch. You can also bring your arms down along your sides, allowing your shoulders to relax more so they don’t have to reach up. 

  • Come out of the posture by gently pressing your hands into the floor and lifting your upper body back to your hands and knees. Take your time to stand up again, making sure not to do this too fast, or you can transition into another Yoga posture from here (on all fours). 

The next time you’re feeling tension or pain in the back try Child’s Pose and see how you feel!

Written by: Desiree Schmidt, 500hr RYT


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