Handstand
March 30, 2015
Head to Knee Pose
March 30, 2015

Happy Baby Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Ananda Balasana
(ah-NAHN-dah bah-LAHS-anna)
ananda = bliss, happiness
bala = child

BENEFITS

  • Realigns and stretches the spine
  • Gently stretches the groins, hamstrings, and inner thighs
  • Opens the hips
  • Calms the mind

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Pregnancy
  • High blood pressure
  • Knee or back injuries

HOW TO

  1. Lie on your back. Exhale and draw your knees toward your chest. Grasp the outer edges of your feet with your hands.
  2. Widen your knees and draw them toward your armpits. Align your ankles over your knees.
  3. Press your tailbone and shoulders into the ground. Flex your feet and press them into your hands, while pulling your hands toward the floor.
  4. Stay in Happy Baby pose for several breaths. Exhale and release to the ground. Draw your knees to your chest for a counter stretch.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Hold onto your shins.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Create resistance between the hands and the feet.
  • Create length in your lower back by pressing the tailbone toward the floor.

VARIATIONS

  • Rock from side to side while in the pose—like a happy baby!
  • Hold onto the inner edges of your feet.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Lower back lifting off the floor