Happy Baby Pose  -Ananda Balasana

Step by step

  • Lie on your back with your knees bent into your chest.
  • As you inhale, take hold of the inside or outside of your feet.
  • Open your knees wider than your torso and bring them towards the floor next to the armpits.
  • Place your ankles directly over your knees (90° angle).
  • Flex through your heels, gently pushing your feet into your hands, pulling the hands down to create resistance.
  • 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 to 60 seconds.
  • To come out of the pose, place your feet back onto the floor as you 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 take hold of your ankles or shins.

Benefits

  • Improves mobility in the hips.
  • Gently stretches the hamstrings.
  • Calms the mind.
  • Strengthens the arms.
  • Releases and decompresses the sacroiliac joint.

Watch out for

  • Support your head with a blanket. If you have a neck injury or any discomfort,
  • 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.
  • Alternate bending and straightening each leg to create a gentle rocking motion.
  • For a core exercise, let go of your feet and raise your arms between your legs. On an inhale lift your upper body, press your arms into your inner thighs and vice versa. Imagine you are doing an upside down Bakasana / Crow pose.