“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love & affection.” –Buddha
Part of loving ourselves unconditionally means taking time for relaxation, rest and rejuvenation. One resting yoga pose that is meant to relax and rejuvenate is Child’s Pose. This is a pose that can be incorporated into a yoga routine or a pose to use as a stand-alone to be in the moment with yourself, to take time to pause and breathe, to relax and release stress or to ease back or hip pain. It stretches the low back, spine, hip and thigh muscles, ankles and knees. The pose normalizes circulation and helps reduce stress, anxiety, tension and fatigue. Child’s Pose is not only physically relaxing but is one of the best yoga pose for mental relaxation. A wonderful way to go within, Child's Pose can be utilized for gentle stretching, meditation, deep breathing or spiritual quiet time.
To do Child’s Pose, kneel on the floor with knees slightly apart and big toes touching. Slowly lean forward until the forehead is touching the floor. Allow the face, neck and shoulders to relax. Breathe deeply into the abdomen and release all tension away from the body as you sink deeper into the pose with each breath. Let your arms drape along your sides, palms up, with the back of each hand touching the floor. As this is a resting pose, stay here from 30 seconds to several minutes. Take the time to allow your mind, body and spirit to not only rest and be still but also to connect with each other—or as is often the case—RE-connect. When we hold ourselves in expectation, resentment or in limiting beliefs we aren’t truly connected. Child’s Pose offers us a time and space to unite our mind, body and spirit again in connection and be one with our Self. It also gives us an avenue for total body relaxation. While in this pose truly believe in you and that you are worthy of unconditional love. Allow yourself to BE in the pose and to be WITH yourself. Make the choice to love yourself as you are right now and take the time and space to relax into that self love. Unconditional love is a choice.
To truly love unconditionally, to be understanding and to forgive means also being that way for yourself. It means knowing that you, as you are right now, are enough. It means letting go of expectations of how you "should" be and accepting yourself, now. Loving unconditionally means loving yourself regardless of past choices. It means forgiving yourself for the beliefs of any wrongs done and letting go of self-judgments. Unconditionally loving your Self means acceptance and forgiveness—toward yourself.
(Though Child’s Pose is a gentle yoga posture you should not do this pose if you have a knee injury, suffer from diarrhea or are in the last trimester of pregnancy.)