While not one of the more traditional asanas, Ananda Balasana is very popular in contemporary yoga series. His name alone evokes a very specific image: ananda means “happiness”, while bala means “child.” Therefore, Ananda Balasana means Happy Baby Pose, and this is how it is usually called. It is fondly said to be a yoga posture that we master perfectly as babies.
The benefits of the Happy Baby Posture are multiple, mainly highlighting the opening of the groin and hips and the ability to calm the mind and relieve stress from day to day. This relaxing nature, added to the simplicity of the asana, makes it perfect to end the day. Adopting Ananda Balasana for a few moments before going to bed can help you fall into a much more restful sleep. It’s also a great pose to perform before starting a more complex set, as it helps warm up and elongate the hips, lower back, and legs.
It is important to remember that, as Ananda Balasana is a pose that promotes relaxation, you should not force it if it is uncomfortable. You can try the different variants, taking your feet from the inside, from the outside, from the calves, etc. Find what playfully works for your body, exploring your body as a baby does when it begins to discover its hands and feet.
This searching attitude can also translate into an encounter with your own body: from Ananda Balasana, you can play to rediscover the fascination and joy that exists in exploring your own physical body. Feel your limbs, your feet, your fingers. You can play with the posture, taking one foot at a time for more control, stretching your legs for a more active stretch, or just finding the right spot to hold it.
Helps calm the mind, providing relief from stress and fatigue. Gently elongate the spine and groin area. Excellent to work the opening of the hips. Strengthen your arms. Releases accumulated tension in the lower back. Massage the abdominal area, stimulating the organs of the digestive system.
If it costs you a lot, or you are not directly able to hold your feet with your hands, you can use items such as ribbons, elastic bands, handkerchiefs, etc. Pass them behind your feet so that they are on the arch or metatarsals of the feet, and grasp the ends with your hands.
Avoid holding onto your feet if you have knee or ankle injuries. You can choose to place your hands on your calves. If you have neck injuries or cervical problems, place some form of support under your head. A folded blanket is sufficient. It is not recommended to practice it during pregnancy or menstruation.
If it can be taken from the feet but is very uncomfortable, you can choose to take it from the inner side, by the arches, or even hold your ankles. If you want to intensify the exercise, you can try to extend your legs slowly, without releasing your feet and without lifting your hips from the floor.