How to Do Happy Baby Pose in Yoga (Guide to Ananda Balasana)

The happy baby pose is likely to be one of the very first poses that you learn in a yoga class. Not only is it wonderfully soothing, but it can also be adapted in lots of different ways to make it accessible no matter your level or experience.

The most important thing about this pose is maintaining contact between your mat and your lower spine. Don’t be afraid to use props to help you achieve this pose with correct alignment! See our beginner’s tip for more information on how to use props in this pose.

“Happy baby is a wonderfully restorative pose that can help ease the body into total relaxation,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “I highly recommend practicing this pose before bed.”

Happy Baby Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Ananda Balasana
Pose Type: Core Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Lower back, abs, glutes, hips, hamstrings, pelvis
Benefits: This pose eases lower back pain while lengthening the spine and opening the chest. It also creates a deep and relaxing stretch in the lower body.
Preparatory Poses: Knees to chest, supine twist, garland pose

How to Do Happy Baby Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by lying comfortably on your back.
  2. Hug your knees into your chest before guiding your knees towards your armpits.
  3. Bring your arms inside your legs as you reach for the outer edges of your feet.
  4. Hold onto the outer edges of your feet.
  5. Flex your ankles.
  6. Gently lift your feet to the sky until your knees are at a 90-degree angle.
  7. Pull gently on your feet to stretch the hips and hamstrings.
  8. Maintain contact between your mat and the entire length of your back.
  9. You might also like to rock from side to side to give yourself a little back massage.

Beginner’s Tip

If your upper back or lower back are unable to maintain contact with your mat, bend your knees to reduce the angle and bring your feet closer to the ground.

You can also bring straps around your feet and hold onto them to make this pose more accessible and access the same deep stretch in the hips and lower body.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you have pain or injury in the knees, ankles, neck, or shoulders.
  • Avoid this pose in the later stages of pregnancy.

Variation

Practice yogi squat with props as you move towards happy baby pose.

From a standing position, bring your feet a little wider than hip-distance apart. Place a block just behind your feet and sink down to bring your glutes to the block.

If your heels are lifted away from the floor, or you’re struggling to get comfortable, add more blocks beneath your glutes.

Settle into this pose by bringing your hands to a prayer position at your heart center. Use the strength in your hips to bring your knees further apart.

Yogaanswered.com is reader-supported. Buying through links on our site may earn us an affiliate commission. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.