Happy Baby Pose
Have you ever seen a baby in happy baby pose? It’s completely true that babies love this position, assume it quite instinctively, and look pretty pleased about it. Until you started yoga, you probably hadn’t tried this position for a long while, but once you start doing it, it feels completely natural and pretty awesome.
Practice it at the end of a yoga session, perhaps just before Savasana, to take advantage of your warm muscles. If your teacher invites you to take any last poses before your final relaxation, this is always a good choice.
Benefits of Happy Baby Pose
For the lay person or yogi, happy baby pose elongates and lengthens the back. The pose offers a safe way to release low back tension, as well as neck strain from long hours at the computer. It releases the low back, gently stretches the inner groins and the back spine Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue.
This pose is also a great way to open the hips and groin. It would be a great warm-up pose for people who are getting ready to workout, or a nice morning stretch. For the athlete this pose should be considered before the start of any training or workout. It gives an easy groin/inner thigh stretch without strain on the back.
I love to teach high aerobic athletes, like soccer players and tennis champs, this pose because it allows them to become aware of symmetry in the hip flexibility. While pulling the feet toward the armpits it will become clear which hip is tighter giving athletes knowledge of what to do to avoid potential injuries. For example, if the right knee doesn’t come nearly as close to the armpit as the left, it’s an indicator that deep hip openers need to be done on the right, like Pigeon Pose.
How to Do Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
When performing the Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose) as part of your yoga routine, you should give support to your neck by using props like a folded blanket. While the Happy Baby Pose in yoga is considered to be good for advanced practitioners as well as beginners, keeping a blanket between your head and shoulders will help you perform the pose better.
- Begin lying down on your back.
- Bend your knees and hug them to your chest.
- Open the knees wider than your torso.
- Reach around the outside of each knee with your hands to hold the outer edge of each foot. Keep your upper arms plugged into your shoulder sockets.
- Stack each ankle directly over the knee, so that your shins are perpendicular to the floor.
- Flex the feet.
- Draw your knees towards the floor with your hands while keeping your sacrum flat on your mat. Your feet can push slightly into the hands to offer a bit of resistance. Your elbows till bend out to either side.
Hold this posture for 30 seconds to a minute. Exhale and release the feet back to the floor. Rest for a few breaths before moving on.
Happy Baby Pose for Beginners
When performing this pose, you may be tempted to press your lower back to the floor and let your tailbone round towards the ceiling. However, you should make sure that your tailbone is pressed to the ground and try to find place between the floor and your lower back. When you keep your tailbone down, the hip flexicon will be increased in the pose.
- If you can’t comfortably reach your feet in this position, try a strap around each instep.
- If it feels good, you can rock from side to side a a little.
- Note that your knees are not drawn into the chest but are instead on either side of your chest, moving into your arm pits.
- Don’t pull your feet down so much that your butt comes off the floor. You have to strike a balance between keeping your sacrum down and moving your knees toward the floor.
Happy Baby Pose for Advanced
- Straighten one leg at a time out to the side while keeping hold of both heels.
- Extend one leg all the way to the floor out in front of you. Flex your foot and press the back of your thigh into the mat. This is half happy baby. Do both sides.
Just Be Happy
The Happy Baby Pose helps in bringing relief from fatigue and stress, not only to the body but also the mind. Performing this pose also helps in bringing down the rate of the heart, bringing relaxation and calmness to the mind. However, to experience the benefits, it is essential that you practice the pose on a regular basis.