Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana (ah-NAHN-duh bah-LAHS-ah-nah) is not one of the traditional poses found in older hatha yoga texts, but it is one of the immensely popular beginner level poses in contemporary practice, with natural ability to calm the mind and de-stress the body.
Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana is a gentle stretch for the hamstrings, inner thigh, and inner groin, a relaxation exercise for the back, and it also opens up the hips, shoulders, and chest, lengthening the spine, and releasing tension in the low back.
The Sanskrit word “Ananda” means blissful / pure bliss while the word “Balasana” comes from the two Sanskrit words:
- “Bala” – meaning “Baby” and
- “Asana” – meaning “Pose” or “Posture”.
Technical details and how to start:
- Lay on your back.
- Exhale and bend your knees up toward your stomach.
- Inhale and reach up to grab the outside of your feet, and then widen your knees.
- Flex your feet, pushing your heels upward as you pull down with your hands to stretch.
- Lengthen the spine and continue pressing your low back into the mat.
- Hold the pose for five inhalation and exhalation or up to five minutes.
- Open the hips.
- Releases lower back and sacrum.
- Opens hips, inner thighs, and groin.
- Stretches the hamstrings.
- Relieves lower back pain.
- Stretches and soothes the spine.
- Calms the brain.
- Helps relieve stress, fatigue and anxiety.
- It is also a variation of missionary position.
- Place a blanket under your neck.
- If you can’t reach your feet, try using a yoga strap around each arch of the foot.
- You can also take hold of your ankles or shins
- If you are pregnant or if you have a knee injury or neck injury, must avoid practicing this asana.
- If you feel pain at any time during this exercise, come out of the pose.
- Avoid if you have extremely tight hips.
- If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.