Half Happy Baby Pose - Ardha Ananda Balasana

Half Happy Baby Pose - YanvaYoga

Contents

Half Happy Baby pose or Ardha Ananda Balasana in Sanskrit ( ‘ardha’ means ‘ half’, ‘ananda’ means ‘happy’, ‘bala’ means ‘child’, and asana means ‘pose’) is a restorative yoga posture that helps to reduce stress and tension in the body. It is a gentle yet powerful pose that helps to open the hips, relax the spine and calm the nervous system.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start lying on your back with both knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Step 2
Next, draw your left knee in towards your chest while simultaneously reaching around it with both hands to grasp your left shin.
Step 3
Extended your right leg and use abdominal muscles to keep it grounded into the mat.
Step 4
Remain in this position for at least five breaths before releasing and repeating on the other side. 

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

helps to reduce stress and tension in the body

opens the hips

helps to relax the spine

calm the nervous system

Contraindications

recent or chronic back pain

knee injuries, such as ACL tears and patellar tendonitis

high blood pressure should 

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications And Props For Beginners

  • Use a strap: If you find it challenging to hold your foot with your hands, use a strap. Loop the strap around the sole of your foot and hold onto the ends of the strap with your hands.
  • Bend the knee: If you have tight hamstrings or hip flexors, bend the knee of the leg you are holding onto. This will reduce the tension in the leg and make the pose more accessible.
  • Use a blanket: Place a folded blanket or cushion under your head and shoulders for support. This will prevent you from straining your neck or upper back.
  • Hold onto your shin: If you are not able to reach your foot with your hands or a strap, hold onto your shin instead. You can also use a folded blanket or cushion to support your knee.
  • Place a block under your foot: If you are not able to hold onto your foot or shin, place a block under your foot. This will give you something to push against and create a similar stretch.

Half Happy Baby Pose Anatomy

  • Hips: Ardha Ananda Balasana primarily targets the hip flexors, which are a group of muscles that run from the lower spine to the thigh bone. As you lift your leg up towards your chest, you’ll feel a deep stretch in these muscles. The pose also engages the glutes, which are the muscles in the buttocks that help stabilize the hips.
  • Thighs: The quadriceps muscles, which are located on the front of the thigh, are also involved in Ardha Ananda Balasana. These muscles work to extend the knee joint and support the leg as you hold the pose.
  • Lower back: Ardha Ananda Balasana is a gentle stretch for the lower back, which can help release tension and improve flexibility in this area. The pose engages the erector spinae muscles, which run along the length of the spine and help to maintain an upright posture.
  • Core: Engaging your core muscles in Ardha Ananda Balasana helps to stabilize your pelvis and lower back, which can help you maintain balance and prevent strain in these areas.

Frequently Asked Questions

Variations

  • Happy Baby Pose
  • Reclining Happy Baby Pose
  • Supine Happy Baby Pose
  • Seated Happy Baby Pose
  • Wall-supported Happy Baby Pose
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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.