Oh, Sweet Child’s Pose!
It was during a particularly challenging power yoga class recently that I realized how amazing a well-placed child’s pose can be. I know we are told to take the pose whenever we need to, but how many of us really do that? In my quest for my edge, I usually find myself reluctant to take that pose during my practice, although I often begin my practice in child’s pose. As I held that child’s pose during the power yoga class I took a few moments to really reconnect with my breath and prepare myself for the remainder of the class. I also realized that I can’t get my hips to my heels. I knew I had difficulty sitting on my heels due to extremely tight quads, but child’s pose? Really?
After feeling like a total failure for a few seconds, I refocused on my breath and rethought the pose. This pose is just like every other pose – my inability to get my hips on my heels is no different from my inability to get all the way up into a headstand. Anyway, I am much closer to getting my hips to my heels than I am to getting up in an inversion.
Regardless, I further realized it’s not just about where I am physically, it is about where I am mentally that is much more important during my yoga practice. At this point in child’s pose, even though my hips aren’t all the way on my heels, I still get the benefit of the pose. As I had been holding myself in expectation and resentment, I wasn’t really connecting!
That is the beautiful thing about child’s pose that I was really not getting all this time. This pose gives me a time and space to connect my mind, body, and spirit again and just be with myself. I realized that I truly love where I am, no matter where my hips are, and I love myself enough to stay in this pose as long as I need to and return to it whenever I need to.
Meanwhile the class had moved on, of course, and the instructor came over and asked me if I was all right – probably due to the fact that I never allow myself to rest very long in child’s pose. I said I was better than okay, I was absolutely wonderful.
I thought to myself, for the first time in a long time, that I do truly and unconditionally, love myself, understand myself, and forgive myself. This pose, which I had always thought of as being so basic and not one that I strive to “get”, had allowed for this great realization! I was able to let go of my expectations of how I should be and just accept myself as I am.
At this point, I did get out of the pose and rejoin the class, feeling like I had been reborn. No, the poses weren’t any easier, but I was a little easier on myself and really enjoyed the rest of that practice in a way that I hadn’t enjoyed that practice before and I had a well-placed child’s pose to thank for all of this.
I will never look at child’s pose the same way again.