Ananda Balasana gets its name from Sanskrit where "Ananda" means "Happy", "Bal" means "Child" or "Baby" and Asana" means "Pose" or "Posture". It is also called Happy Baby Pose because of the shape body assumes in the final position resembles that of a happy baby. Also, it is said that most babies take this posture while lying on their backs involuntarily. It is also called the Dead Bug Pose.

Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose gently and with conscious efforts open the hip joints. It is also considered one of the best poses to calm the mind and distress the body.

It is considered best to practice Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose early in the morning. However, if because of some reason, you are not able to practice t in the morning, you can practice it in the evening as well. Practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose regularly will open up your mind to joy and innocence and make you aware of the bustling divine child within you.

Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose provides considerable relief in lower back pain or discomfort. The significant stretch to the spine helps in getting rid of the pain and discomfort in your hips, back, and buttocks. It is also considered a great alternative for people who cannot squat while bearing weight through their knees.

Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose is beneficial for both beginners and advanced level practitioners and with little effort and perseverance anyone can master this pose.

Technique While Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

Technique While Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

  • To practice, Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, lie on your back on the ground or on the Yoga Mat.
  • While inhaling deeply, fold both of your legs from the knees and bring them as close as possible to your belly.
  • Press the folded legs into your belly if your body is flexible enough. Make sure that you do not ever stretch your body while doing this. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Exhale deeply in this position.
  • While inhaling deeply again, hold the outside part of your feet with your hands. Bring your knees to widen a little more than your torso and bring and bring your knees to push into your underarms. You can also use a yoga prop like a strap or a scarf to stretch your legs if it is not possible for your hands to reach your feet.
  • In this position, your ankle should be positioned a little above your knee and your shins should be perpendicular to the ground.
  • Gently open up your hips to intensify the stretch.
  • While practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, tuck your chin into the chest and make sure that your head is always touching the floor.
  • While you press your heels up with your hands, press the sacrum and tailbone into the ground while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose.
  • Also, press the back of neck and shoulders into the floor. While practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, the back should be lying straight on the floor.
  • Breathe normally and stay in the pose for a few breaths or for as long as your body feels comfortable.
  • Release the pose while exhaling and by leaving the grip on your feet in such a way that the legs are stretched straight on the floor.
  • Relax in Shavasana for a few seconds and proceed to the next asana.

Breathing Pattern to be Followed While Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

  • Inhale deeply while folding your legs and bringing them closer to your belly.
  • Exhale deeply after folding the legs.
  • Inhale deeply again while bringing your knees to be wider than your torso.
  • Maintain your breath while being in the final position. Inhale and exhale deeply in the final position of Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose.
  • Exhale very deeply after releasing the pose and coming back to the original position.

Preparatory and Follow Up Asanas for Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

Preparatory Poses: The various preparatory poses for Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose are Balasana or Child's Pose and Virasana or the Hero's Pose.

Follow-Up Poses: One of the major follow-up poses for Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose is Adho Mukha Svanasana.

Benefits of Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

Since its name suggests, it resembles a happy baby who has no worries and is carefree, the happy baby pose or Ananda Balasana distresses the mind and relieves all the tension and anxiety. It relaxes the cells of the body thereby inducing a sense of serenity in the body.

  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose rejuvenates the soul and the senses in the human body.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose uses the inner energies of the body to harmonize and channelize the human efforts to meet the higher self. It is more than just an athletic practice.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose prepares you for the higher and deeper meditative experiences.
  • It also helps in creating a harmony between the mind, body, and soul.
  • Other than the meditative benefits, Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose has several other benefits. It stretches the inner groins and the spine and helps in keeping them healthy and flexible.
  • It releases the pressure and pain from lower back and also stretches the hamstrings.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose helps in alleviating stress and mild depression.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose also strengthens your legs, thighs and hip muscles.
  • With regular practice, Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose also helps in opening the hip joint which prepares us for more advanced level poses.
  • With regular practice, Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose also keep the biceps strong.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose also provides deep compression to the stomach thus making the digestion better.

Precautions and Contraindications While Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

  • Pregnant women should not perform Ananda Balasana unless a skilled yoga practitioner modifies the pose or guides her.
  • Take care while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose as when you do not follow all the steps correctly, it might cause injury in the knee or neck.
  • Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose should also be avoided if you have an injury in the neck. You can also support your neck with a thick blanket if you have a minor neck injury while practicing the asana.
  • If you have any doubts about your condition, consult a physician before practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose and always practice asana under the supervision of a trained yoga expert.
  • Do not over exert yourself while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose. Do not push yourself beyond the limits. Go only as far as your body allows.
  • Always make sure that your spine is straight while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose as a curve in the spine while practicing can cause an injury to it.
  • People with high blood pressure should also not practice Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose.

Tips While Practicing Ananda Balasana or the Happy Baby Pose

  • You will get maximum benefits from the practice of Ananda Balasana when you practice it with positive affirmations. While practicing the asana if you keep your thoughts positive and keep thinking and visualizing positive things in your mind, you will feel peaceful.
  • Beginners might find it difficult to perform Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose initially. They can use a strap which they can wrap around the middle arch.
  • While practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose, you can move or rock your body from side to side with your lower back gently pressed into the ground to give your body a gentle massage.
  • It is very important to keep your mind free and be aware of the breathing and the movements while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose to reap maximum benefits from the practice.
  • As a beginner, you should make sure that your tailbone is pressed to the ground and try to find a place between the floor and your lower back.
  • You can also hold the back of your thighs while practicing Ananda Balasana or The Happy Baby Pose if you are not able to hold your feet.
  • Or you can also clasp your hands under your knees while practicing the asana if you are not able to hold your feet.

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: August 4, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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