As much as I hate to admit it, when I first started practicing yoga, I didn’t like Child’s Pose. Despite its status as a “resting pose,” Child’s Pose frustrated me.
As a mother of three young children, cobbling together the time to attend a yoga class felt like a Herculean task. The last thing I wanted during my precious moments on the mat was to curl up like a ball. I had made it to class. I wanted to stretch and strengthen. I wanted to do yoga!
A few years ago, however, I returned to yoga after a significant break. Soon after I started back on my mat, I noticed a shift in my relationship with Child’s Pose. I no longer dreaded sitting back on my heels. In fact, I actually started to look forward to it.
I felt a smile spreading across my face when I heard the word, “Balasana.” My previous agitation melted away and was replaced by respect and a quiet curiosity. I began to explore subtle variations with my arms, legs, and breath.
I started choosing Child’s Pose whenever it was presented as an option. Then I started choosing it based on the calling of my body, mind, or spirit. Slowly, sweetly, I had fallen in love. Looking back, it is easy to see how this happened.
1. Child’s Pose appreciates my efforts.
Maybe it is my age, the hectic pace of life, or the endless juggle of balancing work and family, but I have come to not only appreciate, but truly luxuriate in the moments of rest granted by Child’s Pose.
Too often I find myself racing through my day, striking something off my to-do list, only to begin the next project. Child’s Pose inserts a pause in between my efforts: a moment to breathe, recharge, and refresh before asking my body to work again.
And in that moment, Child’s Pose inspires me to appreciate my body and its incredible abilities, no matter what my level of practice. It encourages me to be grateful for the strength, flexibility, and stamina that allow me to move and experience a full and active life.
Child’s Pose invites me to reflect on and celebrate the positive changes that result from my practice. It appreciates the time and effort I put in when working through challenges. No matter what the outcome, Child’s Pose congratulates me on a job well done.
2. Child’s Pose asks me about my day.
Sometimes, despite my good intentions, something is just not right. I am on my mat, but a million miles away.
Child’s Pose asks me what’s going on. It gives me time to check in, on the spot, and think about why I may be distracted or discouraged or apathetic. It offers me a second chance to return my practice in a better way, with more intention and integrity.
Child’s Pose encourages me check in with my body as well as my mind. Am I particularly sore? Tight? Shaky? Tired? Maybe I need to ease up on my shoulder. Maybe I have to dig deeper. Maybe I should be more gentle. Maybe I need to take some healing breaths. Maybe I need to give myself a break.
No matter what I am feeling mentally or physically, Child’s Pose encourages me to explore and consider my needs on any given day.
3. Child’s Pose has my back.
Perhaps the thing I love best about Child’s Pose is that it is always there for me. No matter where I am in my practice, no matter what asana I am in, Child’s Pose selflessly extends an open offer.
When my muscles shake and my energy depletes, I feel it encouraging me from the sidelines. “Go for it!” it says.” See what you can do! I am here for you if you need me!” Child’s Pose gives me permission to try, fail, rest, and try again.
Child’s Pose accepts me where I am. And it does so unconditionally. It understands that on some days I want to explore and that on others I want to retreat. It has opened my mind to realize that these two opposing thoughts can both be part of the same journey.
Child’s Pose does not ask me whether I am on the path or off the path; rather, it asks me how I want to travel along the path. It suggests that I do not always have to push. I can pause along the way.
I can count my blessings and celebrate my successes. I can explore obstacles and reflect on challenges. I can take time to heal, center myself, and redirect my focus. I can set a new intention at any time. And thanks to what I’ve learned from my beloved Child’s Pose, I can do this off the mat as well as on it.
It’s not difficult to understand why I fell in love with Child’s Pose. What amazes me though, is as much as I adore Child’s Pose, I always feel it loves me more.
Pam is a member of the DOYOU Community. The opinions and statements expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of DOYOU and Skyrocket Media.