Ananda balasana: 8 benefits and how to do happy baby pose

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Written By Robby Macaay

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Happy baby pose improves flexibility, breathing, and strength, while also enhancing mental well-being and toning muscles. Here are the benefits of ananda balasana and how to do it.

Ananda balasana, also known as the happy baby pose, is a delightful yoga posture that offers numerous physical and mental benefits. This pose aims to improve flexibility, breathing, and strength, while also enhancing mental well-being and toning muscles. It is a Sanskrit word that literally translates to “happy baby pose.” The asana replicates the playful and carefree nature of a happy baby lying on its back and holding onto its feet. The posture involves a gentle stretch, promoting relaxation and a sense of joy. The posture imitates the instinctive and blissful movements of a baby, bringing a light-hearted quality to the yoga practice. Here are the benefits of a happy baby pose and how to do ananda balasana.

What are the benefits of happy baby pose?

Here are some of the potential benefits of ananda balasana or happy baby pose as explained by the Yoga Expert, Dr Hansaji Jayadeva Yogendra.

1. Keeps stress at bay

The posture involves gentle stretching and relaxation, which can help alleviate stress and tension, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

Happy baby pose helps reduce your stress levels. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Improves hip mobility

The posture actively engages and opens the hip joints and thighs, enhancing flexibility in this area and improving blood circulation in the pelvic region. Regular practice can contribute to improved hip mobility over time.

3. Reduces stiffness in the back

The gentle rocking motion in a happy baby pose can aid in spinal alignment, promoting a healthier posture and reducing stiffness in the back.

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4. Helps in leg mobility

This posture provides a mild stretch to the inner thighs, fostering flexibility in the adductor muscles of the hips and contributing to improved overall leg mobility.

5. Enhances abdominal core muscles

It engages the core muscles as you hold onto your feet, promoting abdominal strength and stability.

6. Aids lower back relief

The pose involves lying on your back, which can offer relief to the lower back. It stretches the muscles in the lumbar region, potentially easing discomfort.

7. Helps in digestion

The gentle compression of the abdomen in this pose may stimulate and massage the digestive organs, potentially aiding digestion.

8. Fosters deep mind-body connection

The focus on breath and the connection between movement and breath in this posture encourages mindfulness, fostering a deeper mind-body connection during the practice.

How to do ananda balasana or happy baby pose?

Here’s a complete guide on how to do ananda balasana or happy baby pose.

  • Step 1: Lie on your back on a yoga mat, ensuring comfort and relaxation.
  • Step 2: Inhale gently, guiding your knees toward your chest with mindful awareness.
  • Step 3: Extend your arms gracefully, reaching for the outer edges of your feet with a gentle and purposeful motion. If possible, hold the big toes with your fingers.
  • Step 4: Gently open your knees wider than your torso, allowing them to come toward your armpits.
  • Step 5: Flex your feet and position them directly above your knees, creating a right angle.
  • Step 6: Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute, breathing deeply and enjoying the stretch.

Are there any side effects of happy baby pose?

While yoga asanas are generally considered safe, it’s essential to avoid overexertion. Mindful execution with proper alignment is key for ensuring safety in most individuals. However, it’s imperative to attune to your body’s signals, adapt poses when necessary, and consult a qualified instructor, especially if you have specific health concerns or conditions. Always prioritise your well-being and seek professional guidance for a tailored and secure yoga experience, says the expert.

ananda balasana pose
Know the side effects of doing happy ananda balasana. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

The best time to do happy baby pose

Ananda balasana can be practised at any time of the day. However, the best time to practise this posture is morning as the body and mind are fresh and active.

Takeaway

In conclusion, ananda balasana, or happy baby pose is a delightful addition to your yoga practice, offering not only physical benefits but also a sense of playfulness and joy. Incorporate this posture into your routine mindfully, respecting your body’s limitations, and experience the benefits it offers.

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