You know when you’re in a yoga class and you hear a teacher say: “and now, sit back onto your heels and come home to child’s pose.” or “let’s take a rest--in child’s pose.” If you’ve been in a class and a teacher has said that and you internally cringed and your eye starting twitching...you’re not alone.
Child’s pose is actually quite uncomfortable and inaccessible to lots of different people for different reasons.
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 5 Alternatives to Child’s Pose (Balasana). Just keep in mind, though, what the purpose of child’s pose is. Child’s pose is primarily used in classes as a restful posture. A moment to pause and connect with the breath. If child’s pose or any of the other poses listed below are uncomfortable or not restful for you, don’t do them. Choose a pose that you find to be restful for your body. We’ll later share a blog post with how you can prop up a child’s pose to make it more comfortable and some different variations you can take.
For now, let’s take a look at the 5 Alternatives to Child’s Pose:
1. Table Top
If you’re okay being on your wrists a bit longer, you might find table top a nice option. Stack your wrists under your shoulders and your knees under your hips. You could stay in this all four position in stillness, take a few cat/cow movements, or hip circles.
2. Table Top on Forearms
Tired wrists? Take this table top version on your forearms. You can rest your head on a block or make two fists and rest your head on top of your fists or rest your head on your forearms (as pictured). Keep your hips high or sink them back a little towards your heels. Remember--the point of this child pose alternative is to be in a restful and comfortable posture.
3. Puppy Pose
This is a bit of an enhancement pose from our table top on forearms. From your table top position with your wrists stacked under your shoulders, walk your hands as far forward as they will go. Then, keeping your hips stacked over your knees, allow your chest to melt down towards the floor. You can rest your head on a block or the mat.
4. Hero Pose
Some people love hero pose, some people hate hero pose. It’s another one of those poses where some people find it to be uncomfortable or inaccessible. If that’s you, that’s okay. Skip it; don’t do it! If, however, you find hero pose to be okay--it's a great alternative to child's pose. You can make this pose a bit more comfortable by using blankets or blocks or a bolster to sit on.
5. Supine Child's Pose
Let’s take a supine child’s position! Start by laying on your back and bringing your knees into your chest. There are a couple of options here: hold onto the backs of your thighs, your feet, take a strap around the thighs and hold onto that or grab hold of your shins (as pictured). You could even take the knees out wider into a more “happy baby” like pose. Play around, be comfortable, and breathe!
We’ll be back soon with another blog post on how to prop up a child’s pose to make it more comfortable and more accessible. Just remember: choose a pose, whatever that is, that’s restful, comfortable, and allows you to breathe with ease.
Have any other poses you like to take instead of child’s pose? Share them in the comments below!