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Poses

Happy Baby Pose / Ananda Balasana

Yoga pose: Happy Baby Pose/Ananda Balasana
Step by step
  • Lie on your back with your knees bent into your chest.
  • Inhale - grab the outside of your feet.
  • Open your knees wider than your torso and bring them towards the floor next to the armpits.
  • Make sure your ankle is directly over your knees (90 degree angle).
  • Flex through your heels, gently pushing your feet into your hands, pulling the hands down to create resistance.
  • Try to bring thighs in towards the torso and down towards the floor.
  • Extend your spine by lengthening your tailbone and draw your belly slightly in.
  • Maintain the length in the back of your neck.
  • Hold for 30 - 60 seconds.
  • To come out of the pose, bring feet back onto the floor on an exhale.
Beginners tips
  • If you can't reach your feet, try using a belt or scarf looped around each arch of the foot.
  • You can also hold the shins or the back of your thighs.
Benefits
  • Gently stretches inner groin and spine.
  • Calms the mind, relieving stress and fatigue.
  • Opens hips.
  • Strengthens the arms.
  • Releases and decompresses the sacroiliac joint.
Watch out for
  • If you have a neck injury, or your chin sticks up when the head lies flat on the floor, support the head on a blanket.
  • If you have ankle or knee injuries take hold of behind the thighs to reduce any strain.
Variations
  • You can try holding the inside of your feet or holding your ankles.
  • Vary the pose by keeping your toes together.
  • Allow your tailbone to curve into the air slightly to release your sacroiliac joint.
  • To get a deeper stretch, try gradually straightening your legs while pulling your feet down, don't allow hips to lift off the floor.
  • For a core exercise let go of your feet but keep the legs in position, push your hands up to the ceiling lifting the upper body - imagine you are doing an upside down Bakasana / Crow pose!
Complementary poses
Try it in class

Seated hip opening Yoga class - for members only

Seated hip opening yoga class with Esther Ekhart

Teacher: Esther Ekhart
Level: All Levels
Style: Hatha
Duration: 30 mins

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