A confession. I don’t really love child’s pose. It’s just not that comfortable to me, and half the time I find myself thinking, “Dang, my mat could really use a good scrubbing, should my head really be smashed against it?’ I know, #badyogi. To make it worse, some teachers will switch on their velvety yoga voice and be like, “Oh just come rest in child’s pose and really let go,” and we’ll be there for, like, five minutes. Meanwhile, my legs start to go numb.
Anyway, over the years I’ve come to learn a number of variations on child’s that may make it more bearable if you’re like me, or might just make it more interesting if you are one of those people who love child’s pose but just wants to switch it up a bit.
1. Wide leg child’s pose: Fab for the shoulders and armpits, especially if you really press into the forearms until you feel a good stretch in the shoulder/armpit area. I recommend this before coming into backbends.
2. Arms by your sides: This is my child’s pose of choice when I’m working on headstands and forearm stands. It just gives the shoulders a rest.
3. Cushion between legs and stacked forearms: Love this for people with tight hips. Slip a rolled blanket under the butt and let it support you. Stacked forearms are a favorite when your mat is disgusting and needs a good scrub. Ahem, note to self, get on that shiz.
4. One arm under chest: This is fan-freaking-tastic for when the upper body is feeling tight and you’re looking for a nice little stretch in the shoulder area.
5. Wide leg with bolster: I enjoy this pose so much – it’s excellent for really melting into the pose. I use a hugger mugger bolster and try to stay in this variation for at least 3 – 5 minutes and focus on letting gravity take over.