Child’s pose is known as a resting pose, but it’s also a fast + easy way to relieve your hip and back pain. Here’s how to do and modify this powerful pose.

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I would say that if you survey folks who practice yoga, Child’s pose is #2 in the list of favorite poses. Second only to Savasana, this popular pose is a total win for your body.

Whether you need a rest or a stretch, Child’s pose delivers.

And, what I love best about this pose in particular is that it can be used to help people suffering from a variety of issues.

Got hip pain? Work on your Child’s pose.

Got back pain? Work on your Child’s pose.

Got knee, ankle, shoulder, neck (you see where I’m going here) pain? Work on your Child’s pose.

I’m going to take you through how to do Child’s pose but, more importantly, how to pay attention to what you’re doing so your painful area can reap the most benefit and you can feel absolutely amazing afterward.

Related: If you’re searching for simple, effective ways to relieve low back pain; sign up below to get your free copy of The Secret to IMMEDIATE + LASTING Pain Relief and learn my #1 trick to help clients relieve pain right now!

Avoid Child’s Pose If…

Most people will be able to do Child’s pose, but there are some people who should completely avoid it.

Avoid Child’s pose if you are unable to completely bend your knees or ankles. Maybe you’ve had a fusion, degeneration, or arthritis. Whatever the cause, this is not the pose you’re looking for.

Don’t try it.

Don’t modify it.

Just find something else that works better for you (like the version of Shell stretch where you’re on your back).

Related: Check out How to Relieve Back Pain with Shell Stretch: 3 Easy Steps for an awesome way to get the Child’s pose stretch without stress to your knees and ankles.

How to do Child’s Pose

child's pose stretches the back and hips

Here are the basics of how to practice Child’s pose. After you learn what to do, scroll down to learn how to specifically use this pose to help you feel better in whichever area is causing your pain.

  1. Lower down on to your knees with your knees as wide as your mat.
  2. Gently, let your big toes touch each other.
  3. Angle your SITs bones (the bones near your bottom that you feel when you sit on the floor) so they point to the wall behind you.
  4. Hug your belly button toward your spine to help support your low back. Sit back toward your heels. Make sure you don’t tilt your pelvis or tuck your SITs bones under you as you sit back. (It’s kinda weird, but you really want to feel like you’re sticking your butt out to the wall behind you.)
  5. Let your upper body fold toward the floor.
  6. Reach your arms out straight and place your palms on the floor. With straight elbows, you are in an active Child’s pose. If you bring your arms by your side, you are in a resting Child’s pose.

Remember to breathe. Take nice, gentle inhales and exhales through your nose. Hold for as long as you’d like.

If You’ve Got Hip Pain

When you’ve got hip pain, you want to be particularly mindful of how your hips feel as you sit back and start to come into the pose.

It feels okay.

If you feel relatively comfortable when you lower into Child’s pose, keep doing what you’re doing. Breathe into any tight spots on your body and notice how they soften as you exhale. Challenge yourself to stay focused on how you’re feeling as you breathe.

There’s pain!

If you start to feel pain as you lower into the pose, lift up and grab a prop or two. You want to use items that will help to evenly lift and support your torso. This way, there won’t be as much stress on your hips.

If you have yoga props like a bolster or blocks, those will work. However, if you don’t have any yoga props on hand, find a stack of pillows or folded blankets.

Position your props sort of near your crotch so when you sit back, your hips and torso are supported. Hold and breathe into any tight spots.

If your hips still hurt, add more props. The further you lift your torso away from the floor, the less stress you’ll put on your hips.

Related: If you’d love to have an entire program teaching you how to use yoga poses and Pilates exercises to naturally relieve your hip pain, check out Spinal Rejuvenation.

If You’ve Got Back or Neck Pain

When you’ve got back or neck pain, you’re probably going to feel fine as you lower into the pose. However, keep paying attention to how your back and/or neck feel.

It feels okay.

If you feel relatively comfortable when you lower into Child’s pose, keep doing what you’re doing. Breathe into any tight spots on your body and notice how they soften as you exhale. Challenge yourself to stay focused on how you’re feeling as you breathe.

There’s pain!

Take notice of where you were when you started to feel pain. As soon as you’re uncomfortable, get up, and grab a prop or two. You want to use items that will help to evenly lift and support your torso at the appropriate level.

This way, there won’t be as much stress on your back or neck. Plus, when your props are at the right height, you won’t feel pain when you try this pose again.

If you have yoga props like a bolster or blocks, those will work. However, if you don’t have any yoga props on hand, find a stack of pillows or folded blankets.

Position your props under your belly or chest to reduce back pain. Place your props under your upper chest and forehead to decrease neck pain. When you have your painful area completely supported, you should be able to relax into Child’s pose. Hold and breathe into any tight spots.

Related: If you’d love to have an entire program teaching you how to use yoga poses and Pilates exercises to naturally relieve your back pain, check out Spinal Rejuvenation.

If You’ve Got Knee or Ankle Pain

When you’ve got knee or ankle pain, you want to be particularly mindful of how those joints feel as you sit back and start to come into the pose. Remember, if either of your knees or ankles doesn’t bend well or has been fused, you should just skip this.

Related: Check out the modification for Shell stretch on your back instead.

It feels okay.

If you feel relatively comfortable when you lower into Child’s pose, keep doing what you’re doing. Breathe into any tight spots on your body and notice how they soften as you exhale. Challenge yourself to stay focused on how you’re feeling as you breathe.

There’s pain!

If you start to feel pain as you lower into the pose, lift up and grab a prop or two. You want to use items that will help to evenly lift and support your torso. This way, there won’t be as much stress on your knees and ankles.

If you have yoga props like a bolster or blocks, those will work. However, if you don’t have any yoga props on hand, find a stack of pillows or folded blankets.

Position your props sort of near your crotch so when you sit back, your hips and torso are supported. Hold and breathe into any tight spots.

If your knees and ankles still hurt, add more props. The further you lift your torso away from the floor, the less stress you’ll put on your joints.

If You’ve Got Shoulder Pain

When you’ve got shoulder pain, you’re probably going to feel fine as you start lowering into the pose. However, keep paying attention to how your shoulders feel once you’re fully reaching your arms.

It feels okay.

If you feel relatively comfortable when you lower into Child’s pose, keep doing what you’re doing. Breathe into any tight spots on your body and notice how they soften as you exhale. Challenge yourself to stay focused on how you’re feeling as you breathe.

There’s pain!

If you start to feel pain when you’re in the pose, lift up and grab a prop or two. You want to use items that will help to evenly lift and support your torso. This way, there won’t be as much stress on your shoulders.

If you have yoga props like a bolster or blocks, those will work. However, if you don’t have any yoga props on hand, find a stack of pillows or folded blankets.

Position your props sort of near your crotch so when you sit back, your torso is supported. Hold and breathe into any tight spots.

If your shoulders still hurt, add more props. The further you lift your torso away from the floor, the less stress you’ll put on your shoulders.

How to Do a Modified Child’s Pose

child's pose modification

But, maybe this version of Child’s pose just isn’t your thing. If that’s the case, try this other version where you’re on your back. This is especially helpful for anyone who feels like the traditional version of Child’s pose puts too much pressure on their belly.

  1. Lower onto your back.
  2. Gently, let your knees come up toward your armpits as your big toes touch each other.
  3. Try to keep your pelvis as neutral as possible, and keep the curve in your low back.
  4. Although you’re on your back, you still want to feel like you’re sticking your butt out to the wall.
  5. Hold and breathe.

For Visual Learners…

Sometimes, it’s just easier to watch someone do it and follow their verbal instructions. Here’s a video to talk you through how to do Child’s pose.

Want to learn more exercises to relieve your back or hip pain?

If you were searching for a good back or hip stretch today because you have some pain you’re trying to get rid of, you’re in luck! I’ve created a course to teach you everything you need to know to permanently ditch hip and back pain. Click here to check out my Spinal Rejuvenation program.

Or, if you want a free taste of what you’ll learn in Spinal Rejuvenation, click here to download The Secret to IMMEDIATE + LASTING Pain Relief.

About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.

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