Childs Pose

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Child's Pose (Figure 2.47) should always be practiced as the second to last pose, with Corpse Pose being the last pose of the practice. Child's Pose may also be used as a resting pose between postures if your child needs extra time to rejuvenate or relax before going onto the next posture. Child's Pose stretches the upper back and spine and also relaxes the whole body.

This pose releases all the muscles and allows the body to relax into the floor. In addition, the forehead is pressed into the mat and this slight pressure relaxes the head. Many children find this pose very peaceful and look forward to ending the practice with this pose. This pose is also a good way for your child to calm down or relax whenever he is agitated, or even before bed to help him get to sleep.

There have been many nights when Stacey has done this pose in bed and felt relaxed and quieted enough to fall asleep. This pose does not require much strength or flexibility and most children feel confident performing it. The idea is that the pose is like a child folding himself up and burrowing into himself to provide self-nurture.

This pose gives a sense of calm and quiet that your child may never have felt before. He may remain in this pose for longer than the usual three breaths to allow his body and mind to relax. As a modification, the knees may be spread and the belly may rest in the space between the knees, if this position is more comfortable for him. Additionally, he may place his arms at his sides rather than lift them overhead if this is more comfortable.

Child's Pose is often favored by children with ASDs. It helps individuals shut out the world for a moment. Children love the feeling of being safe and secure. Rubbing your child's back while they are in this position can help increase feelings of security and bliss. It is suggested that you mention to your child that this pose can help him get to sleep or to relax after a stressful day. We have found that linking yoga poses with daily life helps children view yoga as a method to be able to help, as opposed to being simply extra work.

1. Lay on your belly on the mat with your arms by your sides. Take a deep breath and relax.

2. Slowly push yourself up until you are on your hands and knees. Your arms should be directly below your shoulders. Pause here a moment and take a deep breath. Try not to let your shoulders sag into your back. Try to look like you are getting ready to crawl.

3. Lower your buttocks onto your heels and pause.

4. Lower your chest onto the knees with your arms stretched in front ofyou.

5. Ifnecessary, you may spread your knees and place your belly into the space between your knees.

6. You may also rest your arms by the sides if having your arms overhead is uncomfortable (Figure 2.48).

7. Place your forehead on the floor and relax your body. You should feel a stretch in your upper back as your body relaxes into the earth.

8. Take several breaths and then push out of this position and lie on your back on your mat to prepare for the next pose.

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