Ananda Balasana, orAnanda Balasana Happy Baby as it is more commonly known, may not be a traditional yoga pose from older Hatha Yoga texts, but it IS a modern favourite, and rightly so! The combination of hip-opening, lower-back-releasing, spine-lengthening, inner-thigh-stretching, whilst being completely supported by the ground goodness is a match made in yogi heaven!

Happy Baby is similar to Malasana (the yogi squat) but because it doesn’t weight-bear it is more accessible to those who have knee and hip issues. There are endless variations of this pose too, so there’s an option for everybody; If the hips or groins are tight then you can use a strap around the feet or rest the feet against a wall. This way you can keep the full spine relaxed and rested.

Practice Ananda Balasana

  1. Begin by lying on your back. Inhale to prepare, and as you exhale, bring the knees up into the chest
  2. Place the hands onto the shins (left hand on the left shin, right hand on the right shin) and draw the legs outward, knees toward the armpits. This might be enough of a stretch through the inner thighs and groins so you might like to stay here and take a few breaths.
  3. If you’re ready to move on, take hold of the outside edges of the feet so that the feet face the ceiling (or the sky for you happy nature babies) and the shins are perpendicular too the ground.
  4. Push the feet up into the hands whilst pulling down gently with the hands to create some resistance.
  5. Stay for a few even breaths and then release the feet and come back to lying down in savasana