I use surfboard for many of the same reasons I would use Child's Pose, but I find it more accessible for the wide range of students I have. Plus, you can stay in Surfboard a lot longer than Child's Pose, and therefore gain even deeper calming benefits. Surfboard helps to release lower back tension, elongate the spine, and soften the rigidity of our "turtle shell." The breath deepens and expands the back, as the front body drops into the embrace of the props, helping to calm and soothe the mind and body, eliciting the parasympathetic nervous system. Being on the belly in this way also allows us to un-clinch deep gripping in the thighs, groins, pelvis, and belly, releasing extra effort and constriction in the psoas and relieving tension in the abdomen, digestive system, and kidneys. It can be beneficial when we need to turn inward, such as during times of grief or depletion.
YOU WILL NEED
2 or 3 long, rectangular, folded blankets, stacked
2 short, rolled blanket
1 small towel, such as a large hand or dishtowel (or 2 eyebags)
Place your stack of blankets, vertically, up the center of your mat. Fold the far edge of the top blanket back toward you, about two-thirds of the way down (about 10 inches). You will lie on these like a surfboard.
Place your towel or eyebags near the top of your mat so that they are there for you when you are ready to set up your head support.
Place the rolled blanket across the bottom of your mat to rest the tops of your feet on.
Move Into the Pose
Begin on all fours over the stacked blankets and lower down onto them the way you would lie down on a surfboard. A few inches of the tops of your thighs come up onto the blanket stack. Your pelvis, torso, and head are all supported by the blankets. Your ribcage and breastbone are up on the top folded blanket.
The center of your kneecaps rest on the ground.
Bring the top of your feet onto your blanket roll.
Place a support under your forehead, brow bone, and bridge of your nose. I suggest that you roll or fold a towel to the height you need, so that when you place the roll under your brow line, your neck is in line with your spine, and your cervical curve is natural. If you prefer, use eyebags for support under your head.
Relax Into the Pose
Make any adjustments you need to feel more comfortable, supported, and relaxed.
Let your whole body fall into the blankets. Release all the effort in your legs, belly, and arms. Enjoy a few long breaths to allow your full body weight to drop into your blankets and down into the ground.
To finish, bring your hands under your shoulders, gently firm your belly, and press up onto all fours. Slowly come to sitting. Pause and feel your seat on the ground. Welcome your breath into your body.