Yoga Poses

Happy Baby Pose /Ananda Balasana

Steps

To begin Happy Baby, lie on the back and inhale. While exhaling, bring both knees in and hug them into the chest.  Inhale here, and as you exhale, separate the knees and raise the feet so the soles of the feet are facing the ceiling. The ankles are directly above the knees and the shins are straight and perpendicular to the floor.

Release the hands and reach them up through the middle of the legs while inhaling.  Hold the outsides of the feet with the hands and exhale as the shoulders and tailbone are gently lowered toward the floor. Allow the weight of the arms to pull the thighs down and in toward the upper body.

To exit Happy Baby pose, release the feet and bring the knees in, hugging them to the chest.  Bring the feet to the floor.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

Imagine you are a content and happy baby, lying in its crib. Clothes your eyes and feel grounded along your spine.

Technical Comments

Release the tailbone and let it lower toward the floor. The shoulders should also be relaxed and away from the ears.

Benefit Comments

  • Stretches groin
  • Releases tension from lower back
  • Opens hips
  • Helps lesson depression and emotional stress

Watch Out For:

  • Knee pain
  • Over-stretching arms to reach the feet
  • Tension in the neck and shoulders

Contraindications

  • Menstruation and pregnancy
  • Knee injury

Modifications

  • Use a strap for each foot if it is difficult to reach the feet.
  • Place a blanket under the neck and shoulders to reduce strain on neck.
  • Hold the legs under the knees.

Variations

  • Practice Happy Baby up against a wall, with the soles of the feet facing the wall.
  • Gently rock from side to side while in Happy Baby.
  • Raise arms straight toward the ceiling and move right leg and right arm together in a back-and-forth motion while the left leg and left arm move together in the opposite direction. This variation is to add a core-strengthening element to Happy Baby.

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Hero
  • Child’s
  • Downward Dog

Written By: Kristen Porter

Kristen Porter is a Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher, studio owner (www.ovcyoga.com), corporate attorney, wife and mom. Her passion is helping people realize their true strength and inner light by sharing wisdom learned through yoga, meditation and incorporating positive changes in her own life.

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