Child's pose is a calming and nurturing pose, which fits at the beginning of a class to focus on the breath to help to arrive in class by shutting out everything around you, or at the end of a flow to reconnect with your breath and to calm the mind. It is a wonderful resting pose that can also be done during the day after a stressful situation or anytime when you would like to focus on yourself.
Calming the mind: The head is placed on the ground, to be exact the spot in between your eyebrows (which is the third eye centre, you chakra that stand for intuition). You can close your eyes and look inwards, which send your body the signal that it is okay to relax now. Most of the time you'll feel that your mind will calm down, your thoughts are no longer swirling around.
Releases lower back pain: Your buttocks rests on your heels and the whole of your body is in a relaxed forward fold position resting on your thighs. This rounding through your back helps to elongate your spine, which is so beneficial after a long day of standing or sitting at work. As your tailbone lengthens towards the ground you might also experience that this postures helps with lower back pain.
Hip opener: Child's pose can be done in different variations, with your thighs close or the knees wide open to the side. If you are sitting for a long time the second variation will help to open your hips (often the muscles around the hips get tight while sitting) and you can release and find a nice stretch for these muscle.
Shoulder stretch: There are two options for your arms as well, either resting on both sides of your body which is really comforting and nurturing; or to have both your arms extended forward. In this arm position you will find the additional benefit of having a wonderful shoulder stretch.
Improved digestion: And last but not least, having your belly on your thighs helps to massage your inner organs, which will help your digestion.
Stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system: But the most important thing in Child's pose is the focus on the breath! Slow in-breaths and out-breaths! This will stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system, your heart rate will slow down, your blood pressure might decrease, your overall energy might increase and you might find that you are sleeping better.
You will feel the benefits of this pose during and after class; and is also a simple posture to practise at home.