Saturday, August 23, 2008

Child's Pose: It's Child's Play...


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
-Teal
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7 comments:

Beautiful Mess said...

*new reader* thank you SO much for the comment and reading my blog! Yes, passion is a beautiful thing! I just read your latest entry and I'll have to confess that I've never tried yoga much, but that pose seems like a good place to start! I'm going to be trying it tonight. Have a GREAT weekend!
-D *ICLW*

Cassandra said...

Here from ICLW...
The child's pose used to seem like it wasn't doing much to me. Then I learned that it was a counter-stretch to the backbend poses like the wheel. But the power to shut off the sympathetic nervous system is amazing! Thanks very much.

Kristin said...

I like that pose. I just wish I were more flexible...LOL. How cool that you are another NC blogger. You are the second NC blogger I've found through lists on Stirrup Queens

Lost in Space said...

What a great blog all around. I will have to check some of your other posts as well.

I have been wanting to try yoga, but just haven't been up for taking a class right now so your blog may be a good place to learn more. Thanks!!

Kate said...

Woohoo!!!

dmarie said...

Your blog is really making me want to give yoga another try. Thank you for sharing info :)

Karen said...

I've often thought about trying yoga. I think your site is a great place to start. I look forward to coming back and checking out the rest of it. I started browsing through your 8 greats entry and found some treasures. Thanks!

ICLW