Stretch of the Week: Child’s Pose

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The final stretch of this month is what we call in yoga, child’s pose. It’s a wonderfully grounding stretch. If you feel stressed out, its nice to calm the nerves and mind. Especially with the holidays the past few weeks, this stretch is an excellent one to end the month with. The benefits of this stretch are: clams the brain and helps relieve stress, stretches the hips and thighs, and stretches the ankles as well. This pose is again not recommended for people with severe knee injuries or if you are in your third trimester of pregnancy.

What you will need for this stretch: a folded blanket or towel.

How to do the Child’s Pose

  1. Begin on all fours. Then touch your big toes together and widen the knees a little more than hip distance.
  2. Sit back as in photo #1, top left. If the thighs are too tight just stay on all fours making the movements with the knees and feet.
  3. Exhale and bring your torso between the legs, reaching the arms out as in photo #2, top right.Child's Pose
  4. Attempt to bring the butt towards the heels, or as close the heels as you can. If you can not reach the heels all the way you can place a folded blanket/towel between the thighs and calves as shown in the bottom right photo #3.
  5. Once you find your comfort level here, lengthen the hips away from the shoulders, and pull the front hip bones towards each other, and zip up the front of the body. This should help broaden the low back area and protect it.
  6. Then tilt the chin towards the chest slightly to lengthen the back of the neck. If your forehead can rest on the floor here, great! If not no big deal, you can place another blanket there if you like, for comfort.
  7. Extend the arms overhead along the floor, reaching and stretching the sides of the body. Refrain from rounding the upper back or lifting the hips up and forward as shown in the bottom left photo.
  8. You want to feel grounded here not floating or hovering. The longer you sit here the more your body while sink into the stretch.

Stay here for 30 seconds or several minutes. How ever long you can stay comfortably. To come out of the stretch inhale and lift the torso coming back up to all fours.

Questions? Please email me at rlackowski@athletico.com and follow Rachel Lackowski on Instagram for more stretches.

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