Autumn is a time of change: the leaves fall from the trees and the weather signals a time of transformation for nature, animals, and people. With the energetic activity of summer behind us, there is now an opportunity—with encourage from nature—to slow down, calm the mind, and go within. As animals prepare for hibernation, you too can take a mini-hibernation to restore your body, mind, and energy with this relaxing restorative yoga pose. It will calm your nervous system, quiet your mind, and encourage a good night’s sleep.
Supported Child Pose
- 4 narrow-folded blankets (one fold more than square-folded)
- 1 square-folded blanket under lower legs
- 1 bed pillow
- Optional: More or fewer narrow-folded blankets under torso
- Optional: Additional pillows or blankets under forearms
“I relax from outer involvement into
my inner haven of peace.”
Create a stack of 4 narrow-folded blankets. Place a square-folded blanket behind this stack, and kneel on it with your knees shoulder-width apart. Keep your calves parallel for this version of Child Pose; do not bring the feet together. (This will take pressure off of the knees.) The top of each foot should be draped over the back edge of the blanket to prevent foot cramps.
To enter the pose, draw the stack of 4 narrow-folded blankets in-between your knees. Place a bed pillow on top of your calves. Inhale coming forward onto your hands and knees in a tabletop position, lengthen the spine, and then exhale as you release your buttocks back toward your heels. Your buttocks should be supported by the pillow. Relax your torso onto the stack of blankets and turn your head to one side; gently tuck your chin slightly down toward your chest. Relax your arms and shoulders on either side of the blankets.
Close your eyes and gently lift your gaze. Bring your awareness to your breath. Inhale and become aware of your shoulders; as you exhale, let your shoulders relax and move away from your ears. Inhale space into your lower back, and as you exhale, feel your lower back relax. Silently affirm: “I relax from outer involvement into my inner haven of peace.”
Hold this pose for 3–7 minutes. Then lift your head and rotate your neck in the opposite direction, and repeat to the other side for 3–7 minutes. To exit, slide your hands underneath your shoulders, and on your next breath, slowly press down to lift yourself and come into a comfortable seated position.
- If your abdomen is uncomfortable against the stack of blankets, do not draw the stack of blankets so far in, but instead leave space for the belly.
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“In over 20 years of practice and 7 years of teaching yoga I have never encountered a technique more effective in calming, centering, and rejuvenating its practitioner than Ananda Restorative Yoga. Through the excellent guidance of Melody I felt prepared, in a surprisingly short time, to incorporate Ananda Restorative Yoga into my classes. The benefits of calm, focus, and heightened awareness were immediate in my students and myself. This training greatly improved both my teaching and my personal practice, and I highly recommend it to yoga teachers of every style.” — S.S., Yodfat, Israel