“Child’s Pose, please.”
Years ago I took a yoga class almost daily in an East Village studio where each practice began with those three words. No matter the sequence to come, the composition of the people in the room, or the teacher leading, this pose served as an anchor. The New Yorkers followed, dropping their bodies and bringing their knees to the earth, hips to heels, and foreheads to the mat. The descent into Balasana (Child’s Pose) in a room of busy, type-A urban dwellers in a city that famously “never sleeps” was often dramatic: exhales verging on groans, the very sound of people dropping stress.
Fifteen years later, the pandemic hit, studios closed, and stress skyrocketed. The pose I most frequently took in between Zoom classes was hunched-over-my-phone-doom-scrolling pose, which is where I began to notice Child’s Pose memes everywhere on my social media feeds.
In one, an illustrated yogi begins a practice in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), before quickly making their way to their mat and remaining in Child’s Pose. The tagline? “Pandemic Yoga.”
In another, a woman has dropped to the floor in the middle of what appears to be a grocery store, the text reading: “My yoga teacher said to take Child’s Pose any time I needed it.” I hearted them all, laughing. At the height of the lockdown, stocking up on toilet paper in a Brooklyn grocery store, I really was tempted to drop to my knees and find a cool spot for my forehead on the linoleum. It’s true: in yoga classes, teachers often invite us to drop into Child’s Pose when we need to take a break. Didn’t everyone need one now?