The rebel in me likes Child’s Pose.
Each time I bring my forehead to the floor, I feel relief. Closing my eyes, I withdraw from the stimulation of my iphone and running late in traffic and other parents and my work schedule and meal planning and endless house repair and the opinions of others.
Sitting on the heels, forehead to the floor, arms are relaxed to the sides or along the floor above the head. Knees can open to relax the hips.
In this era of “infomania” we are stimulated by thousands of competing bits and bytes. Child’s Pose, so simple and intrinsic to our bodies that babies and children naturally do it in their sleep and play, feels to me like a subversive and vital act of rebellion.
It is subversive of the cultural norm of constant mental stimulation and distraction in which our minds are entertained with other people’s thoughts, needs, and expressions. All of which are amplified by the speed and volume of technology.
I temporarily reject the outside world for the purpose of experiencing the inner one; I feel grounded, connected to the earth, as I come into awareness of the sensations of my body.
Symbolically, it is a classic position of vulnerability and humility. Neck exposed, my head (specifically the left brain and intellect) is momentarily surrendered. No more circular thinking.
In my classes and groups, I hear how it can be a refuge from hyper vigilance, the constant mental scanning for danger in our environments and from other people. Like all yoga practices, it is an entry point into the actual experience of our inner world. Instead of intellectualizing about the idea of what you feel, you have a felt sense of yourself.
In neuroscience, this is explained through the soothing of the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain which scans for danger and remembers past pain and trauma. You can’t just tell the amydala to relax. It has to be soothed through experiences of safety.
Each time I facilitate my Yoga and Talk Therapy Groups, I feel a shift of energy in the room as people drop into their bodies and out of their thoughts. And each time, I feel the subversive power that is being cultivated within each of them.