Happy Baby Pose | Ananda Balasana

 HAPPY BABY POSE | ANANDA BALASANA



Happy Baby Pose (also known as Ananda Balasana) is a stretch common to yoga and Pilates. Yoga is a mind and body exercise that focuses on flexibility, breathing and strength. Its goal is to improve mental well-being. Pilates includes yoga-like movements to improve range of motion, balance and flexibility, but it also strengthens and tones muscles.

The Happy Baby Pose is often incorporated into these two types of workouts because of its gentle, calming motion and many health benefits.


WHAT IS HAPPY BABY POSE ?

Happy Baby Pose is a gentle and soothing pose that's great for increasing relaxation and stretching the body. It involves lying on your back and rolling from side to side.

The pose is appropriately named "happy baby" because while you're in this position - lying on your back and holding your feet - you'll resemble a baby lying happily on its back. Who hasn't stumbled upon a baby in this position while lying on a blanket or in a crib ?

Happy Baby Pose is a relatively easy movement, so it's ideal for beginners. Instructors often include the pose near the beginning or end of a yoga or Pilates classes due to its calming effect.


HISTORY

The origin of Ananda Balasana is Sanskrit, which is a sacred, ancient language in Hinduism. In this language, Ananda means "happy," bal means "child or baby," and asana means "pose."

While on their backs, many babies happily reach for their toes and feet and then rock back and forth. It's a simple, yet gently and soothing movement. The same way this pose can calm and relax babies, it can do the same for your inner child.


STEP BY STEP

  • lie flat on your back on the floor or a mat
  • with your head flat on the mat, bend your knees toward your chest at a 90-degree angle. face the soles of your feet up toward the ceiling
  • reaching forward, grab and hold the inside or outside of your feet. spread your knees apart, shifting them toward your armpits
  • flex your heels into your hand and gently rock from side-to-side (like a happy baby). Remain in this position for several breaths, inhaling and exhaling deeply.

TIPS

  • There are people who finds this pose challenging and that's totally normal. After all, it's not often that the knees need to lift higher than the heart and point toward the armpits. If you have trouble getting the knees to widen and move toward the triceps, reach for the knees, calves or ankles so you can get all the benefits from the pose
  • if you can't easily hold your feet with your hands, try holding each foot with a yoga strap looped around the middle arch
  • yoga squat, Malasana, is a great pose for hip and ankle mobility. If you can't do that pose, try Happy Baby. It's a great way to gently gain more flexibility without bearing weight on the parts of the body that are less mobile
  • try to extend the tailbone forward and down to get more release and massage in the low back. The sacrum will feel wider, and this is an area where many people get achy from sitting, lifting and bending.

DURATION

hold the pose for 5-10 breaths, in and out through your nose


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

PRECAUTIONS

  • if you are pregnant or if you have a knee injury or neck injury, you may not wish to do the Happy Baby exercise.
  • Ask your instructor for modifications or alternative exercises. if you feel pain at any time during this exercise, stop.


similar poses,

bow pose

camel pose

balasana

garland pose

cat pose

cow pose yoga

cobra pose
















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