Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose is a good hip opener and gives relaxation to the mind. In Sanskrit, Ananda means bliss or happiness, Bala means child and Asana means a pose. Ananda Balasana is a beginner’s pose and can be done by any age group.
How to do Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)?
- Lie down on your back and fold your knees. Bring the knees to the belly.
- Take a deep breath and hold your two feet with your two hands from the outside. If you have difficulty doing this, you may use a strap around your feet.
- Now slowly push your feet against your hands and try to straighten your legs. You should be able to feel the stretch on your arms. During this process you can exhale slowly with force. The lower leg should be at right angles to the thighs. In case you are using a strap, you can get the additional length to further straighten the legs.
- Bring the thighs together and try to make the tail bone touch against the floor. Also the slightly stretch and lower your neck towards the floor as if to make the entire spine to lie in a straight line. If you have difficulty in bringing the thighs together, you may also try this with the legs slightly apart in the beginning.
- Remain in this position for as long as you are comfortable. Usually half a minute to a minute is sufficient.
- To release the pose, bend your knees and lower your legs, releasing the tension in the arms. Remove the hands from the feet and place on the floor on the sides. Lower and bring your legs to the floor and rest in Shavasana.
Benefits of Ananda Balasana (Happy Baby Pose)
- This pose can help to open your ham string muscles.
- Ananda Balasana is a good hip opener.
- It gives a good stretch to muscles around the hips and the groins.
- It can correct minor postural defects of the lower spine as the tail bone is pushed down to touch the ground.
- After the pose is released, it gives a general sense of relaxation to the lower back and also relaxes your mind.
Contraindications for Ananda Balasana
- Avoid this pose if you have any injury of the knees or the hips.
- Pregnant women should not do this asana.