Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana

Happy Baby Pose or Ananda Balasana as it is known in yoga, is effective on the hips, arms and the stomach.

How to do the Happy Baby Pose?

1. Lie on your back and bring your knees close to your chest.

2. Now you can hold on to the soles of your feet, your ankles or the back of your legs.

3. Then you have to make some distance between your feet in a manner where your feet are just above your knees, soles of the feet pointed towards the ceiling.

4. Now you have to pull your knees in the direction of the floor along with the chest.

5. Then relax your head and rest your shoulders on the floor.

6. At the end, all you need to do is free your legs while your knees are bent and then place them on the floor. 

7. Relax for a few seconds and then start repeating the same procedure again.

How to revert the Happy Baby Pose?
  • You can come back to normal with a few convenient methods like bending you back gently while lying on your stomach.
  • A slight lift of the spine to a median height lying on you back can be a pretty helpful move.
  • You can also perform the windshield wipers pose to counter the external rotation of hips in the Happy Baby Pose. 
  • The Windshield Wipers pose can be done by lying on the mat and stretching your feet to the full width of the mat with your knees bent. Then move your knees from one side to another side.

How long should you hold the Happy Baby Pose?

The recommended duration is two minutes in case you are pulling your arms actively and five minutes while relaxing the arms.

Alternatives to the Happy Baby Pose
  • If you are feeling tightened while doing the Happy Baby Pose then you can make use of a belt to hold your feet.
  • You can perform a Squat while lying down with your feet against the wall.
  • For convenience you can hold the back of your thighs, keep your toes at a suitable separation initially and placing them near the groin.
  • At a later stage, you can bring your toes near your nose and gradually you feet go till the behind of your head.
  • Then you can relax by letting the weight of your legs pull down your knees to the ground.

Another set of alternatives are also available if necessary. They are…

  • Curl up your tailbone up in the air. And then place the tailbone on the ground. You will certainly notice noteworthy developments.
  • You can also work up your hips and hamstring by keeping your legs straight while pulling your feet down with gradually increasing separation. However, you have to ensure your hip stays on the floor. 

What can you gain from this asana?
  • The Happy Baby Pose causes stimulation in the spine, kidney meridians and the urinary bladder. Workout of the inner groin imparts stimulation to the Liver meridians. 
  • Other vital organs which benefit handsomely from this asana are your hips, the lumbar spine and your SI (Sacroiliac) joints.
  • It relaxes your hips and the flexing of the arms increases the strength of your biceps. 
  • The SI joints are relaxed and decompressed along with some compression of essential stomach organs.

Things to keep in mind while performing the Happy Baby Pose – Ananda Balasana
  • Alike every asana, this pose too has its flaws in the form mild inversions. 
  • The Happy Baby Pose is prohibited for female practitioners in their menstrual cycle or suffering from high blood pressure.   

Miscellaneous facts
  • The Happy Baby Pose is known by various names. It is called the “Dead Bug” in Los Angeles and “Window” in some places.
  • This pose is considered as the beginner’s adaptation of Yoga Nidra.
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