Happy New Year!!! In celebration of the New Year’s Baby, this month we will learn about Happy Baby Pose known in Sanskrit as Ananda Balasana.
Happy Baby Pose is a really nice pose to come into after a big backbend or at the end of a yoga practice just before heading into Savasana. In this pose the spine is lengthened and able to realign, the hips and inner groins are stretched, the arms and shoulders are strengthened and the mind is calmed helping to relieve stress.
To come into Happy Baby, lie on your back. Hug the knees into the chest and gently rock the spine in small circles in one direction and then the other. Then, release your legs slightly from the chest and allow the soles of the feet to reach towards the ceiling. You should still have a bend in the knees. Reach your arms up to hold onto either the outer edges of the feet or the inner arches. Use the arms to help draw the feet closer to your body, the knees come towards the armpits, but not into them. You should feel the hips opening and the spine lengthening. Once in the pose take a moment to just listen to your body. How would it feel to roll the spine out again, or maybe just gently rock from side to side? Maybe it’s enough to just hold the pose and let the hips open. Remain in the pose for several breaths, until you feel it’s time to extend the body back out and relax into Savasana.
Happy Baby Pose is named such because if you think of a baby playing on the floor or in a crib, they will often grab their feet and roll around. In this pose we are mimicking those happy playful babies.
Remember, to have a successful home yoga practice you don’t need to find an hour or two during the day, 5-10 minutes each morning and/or before bed will make a world of difference. If you find time throughout your day to add in an extra pose or two that’s even better. Keep it simple and enjoy the practice!