Child’s Pose is a treat.
It’s relaxing, it opens your hips, it calms your mind. But you can “activate” this pose – catalyze its benefits – if you repeat it. And that’s what Diirgha Pranam is essentially – an activated child’s pose.
Diirgha Pranam means “the long salutation.” It’s a pose that naturally leads to pratyahara, or the internalization of awareness. Unlike child’s pose, where you stay still, diirgha pranam requires movement. Through this movement you develop core strength. This strengthening, especially of the transverse abdominis, or deepest abdominal muscle layer, is very beneficial for various kinds of menstrual problems and discomfort.
Diirgha Pranam is also beneficial for digestive problems and is an excellent pose for balancing women’s hormones.
And while I enjoy knowing that this pose is so useful for so many physical issues, my favorite part of the pose is the way that it cultivates a sense of peace, surrender and release. Yoga is a practice. It works if you do it…again and again. With this pose you get to come to that place of release several times in a row. It’s a chance to embody the idea of letting go and to etch that idea into your nervous system.
Here’s what it looks like:
Here’s how to do it:
1. Kneel down, and sit back on the heels with your toes tucked under.
2. Bring your palms together at your heart cakra.
3. Inhale and extend your arms upward, keeping them close to your ears.
4. Exhale as you bend forward stretching your arms out in front of you and bringing your third eye to the floor. Keep your palms together. Donâ€™t lift your hips off your heels.
5. Release your exhale and continue holding it for up to 8 seconds.
6. When youâ€™re ready, inhale back up keeping your arms near your ears.
7. Exhale and allow your arms to release, sweep out to the sides and circle back to your heart.
8. Repeat 8 times.
1. Start by placing the hands on the upper thighs, and then slide them down to the floor beside the knees, as in a Muslim prayer position.
2. For stiff toes, place the round folded edge of a blanket under the balls of the feet while the toes touch the floor.