A reader request...this one's for you K...
OK, no really, it's called Child's Pose (or, Garbhasana in Sanskrit). But, some of my awesome students back in Houston sort of inadvertently renamed it "Child's Play," and the name has stuck.
It's an apt renaming because this is a really, really easy pose, and the great thing is you have been doing it since you were a child, so no practice required.
This posture is a forward bending movement and so it is extremely calming to the central nervous system. This is something yoga really excels at: turning off the sympathetic nervous system which initiates our "fight or flight" responses, and turning on the parasympathetic system which makes us feel, "ah...relaxed...happy....safe." Too much of the former and not enough of the later leads to chronic stress syndromes, weight gain, adrenal depletion, and many other "dis-eases" of the body, mind and spirit.
So, lets practice together:
Come down on to your hands and knees on your mat, or the floor. Sink your hips back onto your feet and fold forward at your hips so that your hands come down in front of you and your forehead touches the floor; you can also move your hand to your sides with the palms facing up, still keeping your forehead on the floor. Experiment with both and notice the differences. Allow your tail bone to lengthen down towards the floor so that your spine feels very long.
Stay here breathing deeply in and out of your nose for at least three minutes. Allow your body to sink into the posture more deeply with each exhale. Repeat the mantra, "I have everything I need. I have everything I need. I have everything I need."
Notice the changes in your body and mind from when you start to when you complete your posture. Allow the sensations you feel at the end of the posture to resonate inside of you for a minute or two. Remember, as you move slowly out of the pose and into your day, that you carry this calm and equanimity within you...after all, it's just child's play.
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti
Om Peace, Peace, Peace