What a great photo! As you can see by this little guy’s “demonstration” of Happy Baby Pose, kids really are natural yogis! They seem to know how to move and stretch in a way that feels great and is great for their bodies.
Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana) is a great posture for releasing the lower back and gently stretching the groin area. It is often done towards the end of a practice because it is calming and helps relieve stress and fatigue. This deep hip opener also requires arm strength. You use your biceps to guide the knees towards the floor.
- Lie on your back. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale bring your knees towards your belly.
- Inhale and take hold of the outsides of your feet. Widen your knees to either side of your torso and guide your knees towards your armpits. If it is difficult to hold your feet with your hands you can use a yoga strap.
- Position your ankles above your knees so that your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Flex your toes and press your heels towards the ceiling. Press through your feet while pulling down with your arms in order to create some resistance.
- Lengthen your spine and feel your tail bone gently pressing into the earth as you move your thighs towards the floor. You should feel a stretch in your groin and a gorgeous release in your sacrum.
- Hold for 5 to 7 breaths (or longer if you like).
- Take a cue from the babies and play around a bit in the pose. Roll from side to side. Move your legs around. Find what feels good for you. And laugh!
Note from Bernie Clark: “This posture is the single, most important reason that video recording equipment and cameras are not allowed in yoga studios.” 🙂