it’s the end of the day … you’ve made it through work, mind-numbing meetings and the Indy car race home. your feel tired, tight and grumpy.
i have a suggestion … as soon as you walk in to your welcoming home and kick-off your shoes, try going right into an easy but also PERFECT for our modern lifestyle stretch:
Ananda Balasana aka Happy Baby Pose
i know, i know … your furry friends want affection and your mail begs for attention. but you will actually feel so much more ready to deal with this part of your life if you stop, drop and Happy Baby!
it’s super easy:
- lie on your back (see, awesomely easy)
- take a few deep breaths and allow the floor to support you
- on an exhale, bring your knees back toward your underarms so that your right inner thigh is to the outside
- of your right ribs (and the same on the left)
- inhale, and reach to hold the outside of your feet. if you can’t reach your feet, no worries. you can use a strap. or, place your hands on the outside of your upper legs
- dorsiflex your feet and align your ankle over your knee (see the picture below)
Happy Baby Pose is the gateway to more stretching! you can also *straddle your baby* (extend feet and straighten legs) and *rock your babe* (gently rock right and left while keeping your spine long). once you’re down on the floor and lying on your back, you can easily move to other poses such as seated forward fold (paschimottanasana) or butterfly pose (bound angle pose/baddha konasana).
if you stay in Happy Baby for a bit or move on to your next stretch, try to stay focused on your breath. let your inhale & exhale slow and lengthen. and allow your breath to signal the movement.
Happy Baby has been reported to boost your circulation, elongate/lengthen the spine, reduce low back tension, gently open the groin region … all while releasing the day’s drudgery and elevating your spirits.
and that lengthening of the spine is no small thing. ever-constant gravity combined with sitting for long periods can compress the cushioning pillows between the vertebra in our spine. lying down with your feet up can help relieve the compression on these discs … you may feel and actually stand taller after the stretch.
there are some contraindications for this pose: proceed with caution if you are pregnant or if you have a knee and/or neck injuries.
benefits of Happy Baby pose include:
- improved circulation
- relief of low back tension
- gentle stretch of inner groin
- lengthening & elongating the spine
- relieving compression on spongy discs in your spine
- headache relief
- in the mood for more stretching!
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