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Child’s Pose (Dartihasana)

We begin this month with an asana that replicates how we all began, in a fetal position – curled into oneself. This is a simple asana if we still have the flexibility of a child, but if not, a wonderful pose to begin to surrender into that flexibility. You will see a picture of the asana opposite with my arms outstretched, this is to encourage the shoulder opening that is possible here and also prepares you to enter into the more challenging asana “Downward Dog”. With the top of your feet lying flat on the ground, sit back toward your heels, arms outstretched, and release.

You may also use this asana to completely relax. Use props such as a pillow under your belly and between your legs and a bolster or blocks under your head if it doesn’t quite reach the floor yet. In addition if your ankles are stiff place a small towel under them. In this case you will want to passively rest your arms by your side and totally LET GO. Really allow yourself to rest here and notice with each successive breath that you slip into yourself gently and ever so peacefully. As a preparation for Downward facing Dog we will now highlight the actions you will be looking for in this more active an yet non-weight bearing child’s asana. Begin in a hands and knee position and then slowly lower back onto your haunches, thus lowering the thighs tightly down against the calf muscles, and then flexing the torso against the thighs, resting your forehead against the floor in front of your knees. Outstretch you arms directly in front of your shoulders and activate the hands by pressing and firmly making contact with each knuckle in the floor – feel this “activate” all the way up the arm and accentuate the feeling of the shoulder flesh rolling outward, away from the ears. Imagine a gentle pressure outward at you inner elbow to give you the feeling of using your serratus muscles below your shoulder blades to enhance the rolling out feeling of the upper arms. Look to the pointers on the picture for further detail. Remember to breathe and enjoy.

Published by Mary-Jo

I am passionate about diversity, inclusion, sustainability and community. Having raised my children in a small B.C. town as a single parent, I relied on the community, my resourcefulness and the land to sustain us. We developed a market farm,built a cafe and catering business that utilized the produce, local farmers and families to thrive. As a Waldorf school parent I became experienced in biodiversity, edible landscapes and community engagement. I gained substantial skills in leadership, facilitation, project management, communication through teaching yoga and running various business's. My role as a facilitator and trainer to individuals seeking to become a yoga teacher- whom never thought that they could stand in front of a room and speak in public, gave me insight into human nature and coaching. In addition to designing and building businesses - cafés, yoga studios and national training programs, I am a student of Social Development & Social Psychology and understand the complexity and importance of social engagement. I can handle with grace most any situation, having encountered a disability later in life. Consequent to becoming disabled and through advocacy and providing peer support I have trained and acquired extensive exposure and understanding of UN principles on disability, The Human Rights objectives, theories and principles of Universal Design and the various challenges and obstacles for those affected and the relationship to various stakeholders. After 30 years of teaching yoga, my spinal cord injury and subsequent sabbatical has allowed for the integration of my yoga and more in-depth study of the Healing Arts. I have had the fortune of working with some of the best in the field of rehabilitation, Somatic Experiencing and manual therapy including Emilie Conrad, Mark Finch, Judy Russel, Rod Stryker, Carolyn Myss, Ana Forest, & Tim Miller, Susan Harper, Mariah Moser, Herta Buller and Nature.