This week’s Pose of the Week is Lateral Child’s Pose – or Resting Side Bend.
How can lateral child’s pose improve pelvic and hip happiness?
This is an amazing pose for MANY reasons. But in today’s video I am going to focus in on why it is good for the pelvis and hip.
Below are a few of the reasons why this pose is so wonderful!
Lateral Child’s Pose: Getting playful in this pose and aligning it via Medical Therapeutic Yoga principles can help improve:
- Gut function and motility
- Pain management for gynecological, urological, and orthopaedic issues like pelvic or hip pain
- Lung power
- Sexual function
- Hip health and mobility
- Rib (plus the intercostal muscles specifically) mobility and pliability
- Abdominal and back mobility (great for the quadratus lumborum, an *often* snarky muscle implicated in post hip arthroscopy and hip labral tear recovery and rehab.
- Pelvic floor relaxation and function (which leads to better sexual function!)
- Stress management
- Feelings of anxiety or depression
In order to reap all these benefits, you have to pay particular attention to the following variables:
- The quality of your breath. 3-6 breaths per minute is my typical target goal with patients. Though it’s important to mention – you need to work with a therapist or doctor directly to help determine what’s best for YOUR needs.
- The quality of the pose. This means alignment that fits YOU and your needs.
- Your mindset. Practicing mindfulness in this pose can lead to a deep sense of calm, well-being, and of course, is an entry point for making this pose meditative.
- The restorative nature of the pose. This pose is NOT a time to challenge the body. It is a time to find comfort that is therapeutic and fits your needs.
I STRONGLY encourage that you work with a therapist or doctor directly to fit this pose to your body. As a pelvic and orthopaedic PT and athletic trainer, I would never give out exercises to folks without a thorough physical examination. This and all my videos are meant to service as information and education ONLY. They do not constitute therapy or an individualized prescription for what will work for you. Ok, let’s get to our Pose of the Week!
Do in Lateral Child’s Pose
✅ Target the intercostals and abdominal & hip flexor fascia
✅ Abdominal massage (visceral mobilization) can be added via a myofascial ball
✅ Address the hip “pinch” before getting into this pose
✅ Create openness in the pelvis and letting go in the pelvic floor
✅ Cultivate your “BIG BREATH” – deep belly breathing further accentuates the piston effect of pelvic floor release
✅ Address any scarring
✅ Prevent foot drop with a blanket roll
✅ Dig into the arm lines (fascia)
✅ Elongate the exhale
✅ Quieten the mind and allow more time in this pose
Next let’s visit the short list of “don’ts” in Lateral Child’s Pose.
Don’t in Lateral Child’s Pose
❎ Impinge the shoulder or hip
❎ Use TATD breath
❎ Shear the cervical spine by dropping the head off the arm
❎ Put the knees or legs together in this pose
Ready, Set, Go!
Now you are ready to do Lateral Child’s Pose.
A few extra tips to start:
- I recommend you spend at least 2-3 minutes on each side in this pose.
- Feel free to spend MORE time on the side that feels tighter.
- To test which side is tighter, first do an upright side bend as I show you in the video. Whichever side is tighter is the side you should spend more time on. Okay, let’s go!
One more tip!
If you have limited hip and knee range of motion, no problem! One of the other options you can do is a “High Child’s Pose.”
To do a High Child’s Pose, from your knees or from a standing up position:
- Lean forward and bend at the hips, not the waist.
- Stick your rear out and rest the chest over a Yoga Couch or therapy ball.
- Huge the ball or couch.
- Child’s Pose is adaptable to fit every body!
About the Author
Ginger is a passionate, unapologetic advocate of improving access to healthcare, a mother to 3 sons, & a 20+ year veteran in Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine in women’s health physical therapy & athletic training. She is the author of Medical Therapeutic Yoga, founder of Living Well Institute, owner of EudeMOMIa Integrative PT & Lifestyle Medicine, and most recently uprooted to Greensboro, NC with her family after 21 years of beach living, where they and their rescue pup Scout are wildly joyous about their new hometown.
PS Here are 3 more ways I can help you!
2. Take courses with me at Living Well Institute and Yoga U Online!
3. Take advantage of the Free Medical Therapeutic Yoga Basic Video Library.
DISCLAIMER: YOU CAN DO ANY YOGA POSE however you feel is best for you. However, these poses are for protection and preservation, as well as maximizing, pelvic girdle function (hip, SIJ, low back, pelvic floor). This and any other videos I instruct do not constitute physical therapy or a patient-provider relationship. User assumes risk in performing this or any video. Finally, you need to get the approval of your healthcare provider before doing this or any instructional movement video.
A final note: Assessment and evaluation of the hip & shoulder should only be done by a licensed healthcare provider. A physical therapist or orthopaedist would be most suited. An orthopaedist is trained in surgery and drug prescription. A PT is trained to evaluate, rehabilitate, and prevent injury.