Child’s Pose is a posture commonly practiced in yoga classes and home programs. It is often prescribed by physical therapists as a way to increase mobility and decrease stiffness acquired in our day to day life.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the creation of the shape of the posture, benefits, and ways to tailor this pose to your physical needs.

Create the physical shape of Child’s Pose

All postures have a physical shape and an energetic feel. Here are instructions on how to achieve the physical shape of the posture:

  1. Start in table top with your feet together and knees apart.
  2. Send your rear end back so that buttocks are on your heels and your chest is resting on your thighs.
  3. Find a comfortable place for your head and hands. My favorite option is to stack my fists and place my forehead on my fists.
  4. Soften your belly. As you inhale, breathe into the side and back of the rib cage. This encourages mobility of the ribs that often hold unneeded tension.
Traditional Child's Pose with forehead on stacked fists

Traditional Child’s pose with forehead on stacked fists

Make Child’s Pose work for you

The beauty of a yoga practice is its flexibility (no pun intended!). That is, you can make adjustments to the positioning and use props. Try some of the variations below and make it work for you!

Child's pose, reaching to the left

Reaching to the left in Child’s pose

Positioning your hips and feet

I recommended trying this posture with the feet together and knees apart. This creates more space in the hip joint.

You might find, if your hips allow it, that you prefer to have your knees and your feet together.

Is your body craving more space at your hip creases? Place a blanket at the space where your abdomen and thighs meet to increase the angle of flexion at your hip.

Are you finding the top of the ankles hanging in space rather than on the mat? Place a rolled towel under the top of your ankles.

Where to put your arms

I recommended the forehead fist stack, but there are lots of options for the arms.

Try having your arms forward and resting your head on the mat or towel over the mat. You’ll feel a nice stretch in your latissimus dorsi muscles.

Experiment with bringing your arms to your side and wrapping your hands around to hold at your heels.

Supporting your knees

If your knees are not happy in full flexion (pain with bending them the whole way), place a blanket under your thighs so that your rear end is sitting on the blanket, rather than straight on your heels.

If this doesn’t work, modify this posture by coming into Puppy Stretch (keeping your rear end in the air) or coming on to your back into Modified Happy Baby.

Make it restorative

Transform Child’s Pose into a restorative posture.

Place a bolster between your inner thighs and reach your spine long as you lay forward. Hug your arms around the front end and under the bolster.

You could also place a block underneath the bolster.