Yoga, Yoga Tutorials

Tutorial Tuesday: Childs Pose

January 12, 2016

A Childs Pose Tutorial

I’m kicking off a new series called Tutorial Tuesday, where we will break down a yoga posture, give you pictures, tips, modifications, and even answer your burning questions in the comments! Week one is a Childs Pose Tutorial. While it may seem simple, this classic yoga posture is such an important posture, one that is supposed to give us respite during our practice, I think it’s worth looking at a little closer.

Getting Into the Pose:

Start on hands and knees, in tabletop position, with the knees directly under the hips and palms under the shoulders. The fingers should be spread wide and thumbs resting comfortable.

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Press the hips back towards the heels as you simultaneously release the forehead down towards the floor. Release the arms down alongside the body.

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Let the neck completely relax and imagine breathing directly into the space between the shoulder blades. On each inhale feel that space expand, feel the air massage through the back body. And as you exhale bring your awareness to the hips and allow them to become heavy. Rather than forcing them down to touch the heels, think of just releasing any tension or gripping that might be getting in the way.

Variations:

Extended Childs Pose is a variation on classic Child’s Pose that involves actively reaching the arms out in front of you. The arms remain active, reaching all the way through each fingertip and shoulders remain released away from the ears. By pressing the hands actively down into the mat you may be able to achieve a deeper expression of the posture by using that energetic action to help release the hips down closer towards the heels.

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Wild Child, also known as Wide Legged Childs Pose is a variation on Extended Child’s Pose that is often more accessible to who are less flexible. To get into Wild child spread the knees to the outer edges of your mat and keep the toes touching as you slowly walk the hands out in front of you. You can either release the chest down into the space between the thighs, lengthening through the shoulder joint and extending through the entire arm, or you can place a bolster (or 2!) under the chest and release down into that surface. 

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Tips, Tricks and Modifications:

If you notice that the hips are significantly higher than your head, bring a block or a blanket under the forehead for support.

If the knee caps are pressing uncomfortable into the ground place an extra mat or a blanket underneath you.

If the stretch becomes too intense and is uncomfortable to the tops of the feet, place a folded blanket (or a couple) under the shins and allow the feet to hang off the edge.

If there is too much pressure in the knee joint then place a rolled up blanket between the backs of the thighs and the calves to lessen the extent of the bend in the knee.

If the hips sink back, but the forehead doesn’t come near the floor, place a bolster between the knees and the chest to give yourself something to release down onto.When in doubt, open the knees out to the side edges of the mat and keep the toes touching for Wild Child.

If you’re looking to deepen the stretch, try bringing a couple folded blankets or even a sandbag onto the hips to offer some gentle pressure. Just be mindful of any increased pressure or pinching in the knees.

 What’s your favorite variation of childs pose? Tell me in the comments!

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4 Comments

  • Reply Fran January 12, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    I usually do a combination of regular and wild child. I like the knees spread wide – helps with the less flexible knee post-replacement. But then I get more release and relaxation by putting my arms back toward my feet. I never thought of using a sandbag to help release the hips down more – I will have to try that!!

    • Reply Brenna January 12, 2016 at 4:17 pm

      The sandbag is great if you don’t have someone around who can assist you by pressing the hips down. Just be mindful of any increased pressure or discomfort. Too much weight on tight hips/quads can lead to a pulled muscle. Give it a try and let me know how it goes!

  • Reply Andrea January 13, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I usually start in regular child’s pose, then move into wide (wild) to get an additional stretch in my hips and lower back.

    • Reply Brenna January 14, 2016 at 3:54 am

      It’s so interesting to me because i used to do the same, and then was doing the opposite for a while, and the switched back again. Always trying to just keep listening to my body 🙂

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