I truly understand what my teachers mean now when they say “child’s pose is home base and you can take it anytime you need to rest.” They’re giving us permission to rest. But many of us won’t take child’s pose, we’ll push through to complete exhaustion. In doing so, as we move through class the integrity of our postures decreases and the risk of injury increases.
Finding the balance between pushing to your edge vs. exhaustion is an important lesson in yoga but in life in general. Many of us push ourselves with our work, our families and ourselves to meet everyone else’s expectations or a deadline or rushing to get to the next place. Typically as a society, we don’t give ourselves permission to slow down and rest. Our minds are constantly going, only shutting off briefly after we’ve finally fallen asleep. We train for our next marathon, pushing our bodies to their limits and hardly ever listening to how our bodies feel. Or more importantly, acting on that nagging pain outside your knee by taking care of the body and resting.
So the next time you find yourself in a whirlwind called life or not breathing evenly during your next yoga practice, give yourself permission to rest. Take child’s pose. Pause for a moment and just breathe. And know that each time you take a moment for yourself, you haven’t failed instead you’ve gained self respect. Honor your body for you only have one.