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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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