Revolved Child’s Pose (aka: Thread The Needle Pose)
| Sanskrit Name: Parsva Balasana
1. Start in Table Top Pose as pictured below, with your knees below your hips and your wrists below your shoulders. Ground down firmly through your palms and your legs. Toes can be tucked or untucked.
2. On an INHALE, sweep the left hand up to the sky, opening the chest to the left side of the room. Ground down firmly through both legs and your right hand. See the photo below.
3. EXHALE and send that left arm through, threading it in the space between your right hand and right knee. Rest the back of your left hand on the ground beside the mat as shown in the photo below. INHALE to lengthen your neck and spine, and EXHALE to send the left hand a little further through, to deepen the twist in your spine.
4. If this feels comfortable, and you want to deepen the twist slightly, INHALE to float the right hand up to the ceiling. Gaze upwards, as pictured below, maintaining length in the spine.
5. You can deepen this even further by placing the back of your right hand gently on the lower back OR hook it around to grasp onto the left thigh (as if you are placing your right hand in your front left pocket). Hold for 4-5 breaths.
Want an extra challenge?
INHALE to lift your right leg up, shifting your weight onto your left knee, shoulder and left side of the head. ENGAGE your core so that you don’t roll over onto your back and so that you don’t place much strain onto your neck! Hold for a few cycles of breath.
6. To come out of the pose, reverse the steps that got you into it:
EXHALE to lower the lifted right leg (if you took that option)
INHALE to float the right hand back up
EXHALE to place the right hand down on the mat in front of your face
INHALE and press into the right hand, untwisting the left arm and floating it upwards before finally
EXHALING to return to a Table Top Pose
Repeat this pose on the other side!
The Benefits of Revolved Child’s Pose:
Provides the spine with a gentle, detoxifying twist to ‘wring out’ and gently massage the internal organs.
Brings a nice stretch to the shoulders; in particular the top of the shoulders; the trapezius and the outer and back edge of the shoulders; the middle and posterior deltoids.
Revolved Child’s Pose acts as a very slight inversion (an inversion is any posture where your heart is above the head), so this means that fresh blood flows to the upper extremities, improving circulation.
If you choose to lift a leg, this pose then also activates your core muscles, providing some strength training to the obliques and abdominals.
How To Modify:
If you experience pain when kneeling, or pain when you rest weight onto your shoulder, place a folded up blanket on your yoga mat or double up mats before starting this pose.
Remember that crossing the free arm around your back and lifting your leg are advanced or more intense variations of this posture, so only attempt them when you feel ready.
Rest in child’s pose after performing this posture, to allow your spine to readjust. See Child’s Pose below:
Have fun with it and don’t overthink it too much; sometimes words can be confusing! Just get on your mat and play around with this fun twist! Make sure to try this pose after warming up your wrists and trying Child’s Pose and Cat-Cow Pose to loosen up.
How does this twisty shoulder and back stretch feel for you? Does it give you a sense of playfulness in your practice? Leave me a comment below or email me to ask any questions or provide feedback!
Thanks for joining in!