Ananda Balasana or Happy Baby Pose is considered to be a forward bend as well as a core exercise. The Happy Baby Pose is very effective in bringing about relaxation by making the mind calm. Not only does the pose feel great in the body, an additional benefit is that it almost always brings a smile to the face.
What You Should Know Before You Do The Asana
This asana must be performed on an empty stomach. You must have your meals at least four to six hours before you practice yoga. You must also make sure that your bowels are empty. Avoid this pose during pregnancy and if you have a knee injury. If you have a neck injury, you should make use of a thickly folded blanket to provide support to the head. Another precaution you should take when performing this pose is to make sure that the spine is straight.
How To Do The Ananda Balasana : Step-by-Step Instructions
- You can begin the Happy Baby Pose by first coming into the lying position on your back. While breathing deeply, you should let your knees fold and bring them to press into your belly.
- Take a deep breath, and with your hands hold onto the outside part of your feet. If you find it difficult to hold your feet with your hands, you could make use of a belt or a scarf that goes over each instep. Bring your knees to widen more than your torso and let them be pushed to your underarms.
- Let each ankle be placed above each knee, so that your shins make a right angle to the ground. Through both your heels, without using too much effort, flex and let your feet be thrust into your hands (or belt or scarf). Let your hands be pulled down so that a resistance is created.
- Your thighs should be brought in towards your body, and your tailbone should be pushed down towards the mat as your spine is stretched. Your pelvis should be released towards the mat and your skull’s base should be stretched away from the neck. Make sure that at all times that your hips do not come off the mat. To ensure this, you could let your lower back and tailbone press into the mat.
- This pose can be held for 30–60 seconds. To get out of the pose, you should breathe out, let your feet be released, and place them on the mat. Once you complete the happy baby pose steps you can relax for a few breaths.
- Some people find it more comfortable to hook on to the big toes with the piece fingers (pointer and middle finger) of each hand, or to hold on to the foot from the inside (arch) edge.
- If it feels challenging to hold on to the feet directly, try looping a strap around the ball of each foot instead.
- Also, if there is any strain or discomfort in the neck, place a folded blanket or towel under the head to maintain the natural curve of the cervical spine.
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. A beginner’s tip for the Happy Baby Pose is to hold the feet with a yoga strap that is looped round the middle arch if there is difficulty in holding the feet directly with the hands.
Modifications & Variations
- You could practice it against a wall or make use of a belt to hold onto the feet. The back of the thighs could also be held onto if there is difficulty in holding the feet with the hands.
- Another variation for the Happy Baby Pose is to let the hands be clasped under the knees.
Benefits Of The Ananda Balasana
- Being a good hip opener, it needs the strength of the arms, instead of allowing gravity to do the work. Hence, this pose comes under the poses that work with arm flexion or help to make the biceps strong.
- The pose helps release tension from the area of the lower back.
- As mentioned earlier, it helps open the hips, shoulders, and chest.
- The pose also helps stretch the inner groin, spine, back, inner thighs, and hamstrings in a gentle manner
- It provides deep compression of the stomach.
- It relaxes the sacrum.
- 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.
Is there any pose more giggle-inducing than Happy Baby? Looks like all those babies are on to something! Although the physical flexibility we had as infants may feel like a distant memory, with practice this pose will help to gently ease out the kinks and tension we hold in the notoriously tight adult hips and groins.