The Nuances of Child’s Pose

Balasana or Child’s Pose is one of my favorite yoga positions. When my strength fails me, or if I feel too heavy or stiff for a particular posture, I retreat and surrender. The way to properly do a Child’s Pose is to come down onto the knees, fold forward at the waist and extend the arms forward until your head touches the ground and the arms are extended in front of you. There are several ways you can alter this pose. Sending the hands behind you with the arms at your sides. Placing the fists beneath your forehead if your forehead doesn’t reach the ground. If your knees or ankles are sensitive or stiff, a towel or blanket can be folded underneath them to give them more support. This pose isn’t just about resting, it’s a mild position that gently works your body. It stretches the thigh, hips, and ankles while relieving head, back, and neck pain. It’s an opportunity to return to the breath and to refocus your mind.

The cliched line from any stereotypical psychologist comes to mind, “Tell me about your childhood” when I think about Child’s Pose. I find it interesting that when trying to understand ourselves more deeply, we often reference a time when we were small. What did you love to do when you were a child? What scared you as a child? What made you smile? I’ve been asking myself these questions lately as I try to discover what to do next in my life. I’ve recently graduated university, gotten married, and started working. At the moment, my jobs’ (that’s right, plural jobs) functions are to pay the rent and help my husband through the rest of his university education. They’re not exactly about any “higher calling” that I may have or about my passions (except my yoga teaching job which I LOVE).

Getting married was a goal of mine (I’m a very independent woman who didn’t NEED to get married, but I was lucky enough to find a great guy who can keep up with my ambitions) and now I’m married at age 24. Graduating university has also been a goal of mine. It’s been a goal since I was old enough to stay “university”. While I am extremely fortunate enough to have found the man I love and to have received an amazing education, I’m extremely lost. I’ve spent 24 years fighting to get to this point, and now I don’t know what to do. I know now that I should have enjoyed the journey more. I should have taken more moments to slow down and take in everything that was around me. I should have returned to a figurative Child’s Pose.

In yoga, the asanas (poses) each have their own purpose and some are harder to achieve than others. Pincha mayurasana at the moment is my mortal enemy. I’m getting closer to sticking it, but it is staying just outside of my reach. There are several poses like Pincha that engage most of your muscles. This can get tiring very quickly. That is why when you’ve had enough, when your body is tired and you need to rest to avoid injury, you need to retire to our knees with your head on the earth.

At the moment, I’m in a symbolic Child’s Pose. I’m trying to understand what I used to love and why I no longer participate in these activities. I’m trying to experience the world the way that a child would: with little fear and submission to things that come my way. I remember that when I was growing up, I wasn’t very submissive. I questioned and fought everything, traits that have followed me into adulthood, for better or for worse. I need to break these habits and create new ones. I also need to find out what truly makes me happy. While I may not be able to make these things into a career, I can at least continue to explore them so that I can be a happier person overall.

I’ve been trying to overcome my life, more like fighting through my life for so many years that I’m not sure how to slow down or how to just enjoy it. I need to calm my breathing, calm my mind, and allow myself to become open for future experiences. They’ll come in their when they’re supposed to, in the meantime, I’ll be waiting patiently.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day, feel free to comment below.


(Originally published on 09/7/16)


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