Reclining Butterfly Pose

This pose (Figure 2.44) continues to open the hips and release the spine. Some children may find this pose easier than Butterfly Pose because the hips have already begun to be open and they are already somewhat warmed. Additionally, your child may find this pose more comfortable because the body is in the supine position. The pose does not involve much abdominal or torso strength.

Your child should be encouraged to breathe into his hips and try to release any tension that may have accumulated in his body. Children with ASDs often enjoy this pose compared to the more physically challenging poses. Your child may be encouraged to stay in the pose longer than three breaths if he so desires.

Children are often surprised at how gravity presses the hips down when they are lying on their backs. They find that once they are relaxed into this pose, they are more comfortable than when the muscles are tensed. It is suggested that you help your child relax by encouraging him to breathe into his hip areas. You can help him visualize that the area is releasing many small butterflies that flutter upward toward the sky with each exhalation. If the hips are tight, you may place the yoga blocks underneath each thigh for support.

1. Lie on your back on the mat with your body relaxed. Have your arms by your sides and your eyes closed. Take several deep breaths.

2. Bend your knees out to the sides of your body and bring the soles of your feet together.

3. Bring the soles of your feet as far up towards the groin as possible, but do not strain. Only bring the soles of the feet as far towards the groin as is comfortable. Feel your hips open and relax.

4. Stretch your arms over your head. Take three deep breaths, feeling your hips opening while your arms are stretching and your torso is lengthening. Try to keep your lower back pressed into the ground, and do not let the spine arch. Feel the various places in your body that may be releasing, especially the hips, spine, and shoulders.

5. After you have taken three or more breaths, slowly straighten your legs. Bring your arms to your sides, and rest for a moment, concentrating on the feeling in your hips.

Child Spinal Twist
Figure 2.45 Seated Spinal Twist Pose

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