Ananda Balasana is termed as happy baby posture and it is quite a simple asana. In fact, this asana has got its name, since most babies take up this posture involuntarily, when they are lying on their backs. Masters of yoga go to the extent of saying that we do lots of asanas when we are young babies, even without any awareness that they are very good asana poses that increase the flexibility of the body and keep the body in healthy condition. However, we usually forget all those asanas or postures one by one as we grow and are forced to learn them afresh at a later stage from a yoga master. Ananda Balasana is one such asana.
Procedure of Ananda Balasana
- You should lie on your back, preferably on a folded blanket. You should exhale and bend the knees towards and into our abdomen.
- You should inhale and hold the outsides of both feet with both hands. Your knees should remain open slightly wider than your chest. You should now push your knees slowly upwards until they reach your armpits.
- You should now position each one of your ankles directly over the knees, with your shins remaining perpendicular to the ground. You should flex the legs through your heels. You should push your feet gently up into your hands, even while pulling the hands down for creating more resistance.
- You should coax and move your thighs inwards towards your chest and press them down towards the ground through the chest, while lengthening your spine. You can release the tail bone also towards the ground. The base of your skull should be lengthened away from the back of the neck for maximum stretching in this position.
- You can hold this pose easily for 30 seconds and extend it upto one minute later. After completing the asana, you can slowly release your feet back to the ground while exhaling. You should rest in this lying position, taking a few breaths slowly before getting up.
Benefits of Ananda Balasana
The anatomical focus of this asana is on the hips. Ananda Balasana stretches the inner groins as well as the back spine gently. It calms the brain and is quite helpful in relieving fatigue and stress.
Precautions and Contraindications for Ananda Balasana
Persons suffering from knee injuries and pregnant women are not advised to perform this asana. People with neck injuries can do this with a thick folded blanket as the support for the head. Beginners can use yoga straps to hold their feet, if they are unable to reach them with their hands.
Preparatory and Follow-Up Asanas
You can perform Balasana and Virasana before Ananda Balasana and follow it up with Adho Mukha Svanasana.