The benefits of the pose are to stretch the ankle, knees, hips, low back and shoulders. It is commonly used as a restorative pose to promote calming of the nervous system. However, many of my clients cannot achieve this pose when they start yoga or are returning from injury. The goal is to sit the hips back on the ankles and round the spine. However, limitations in the ankle, knees, hips or back can hinder this position. Attempts to achieve the full pose end up extending (or arching) the spine, rather than rounding it. So here are some ways to modify child's pose
- Place a rolled towel or mat under the ankles
- Place a rolled towel or mat at the back of the knees to limit bending
- Place a folded blanket or bolster across the lower legs and sit the hips on it
- Place the forehead on a block and bend elbows
Over time, take away layers or thickness of support. Every couple of weeks, test your comfort in the full pose. With patience and persistence you will see things changing. But don't have some idea of "the perfect pose". But when it feels good, take the time to enjoy and let go.