Friday, July 8, 2011
At the end of the yoga classes that I teach, I like to offer an opportunity for some restorative poses before resting in Savasana. One of those poses is Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana or Blissful Child). It is a wonderful pose to practice especially if you have tight hips. The hip area is one part of the body that we may store lots of emotional tension. As you move into this posture, perhaps bring to mind any stressors that you'd like to release. Happy Baby Pose, may help in the progression toward that release.
Further, just thinking of the name of the pose, Blissful Child, can be a great reminder of the carefree lifestyle of the child. Young children generally have little or no stress. Recall that time in your life and bring it to the surface as you de-stress in this yoga pose.
Happy Baby Pose
Lie flat on your back and bring your knees toward your heart. While holding onto each knee, gently open the legs toward the outside of your body. From here, lift your feet into the air while keeping your knees very bent. Reach up from the inside of your legs to hold onto the bottoms of your feet. (If you cannot reach your feet, hold onto your ankles instead.) Gently press downward so it feels like your knees are moving toward the floor just outside your body. You may begin to experience sensation in your hips and pelvis as a stretch or release. The pose is appropriately named: it resembles babies lying on their backs as they unconsiously raise their feet into the air. Sometimes, they even have a smile on their faces!
As you're able, press your lower back down toward the floor. This will bring more sensation to this pose, thus, more release. Meanwhile, your entire back and head are on the floor. Hold this pose for 10-20 breaths. It is very healing and relaxing. Complete your practice by resting for a few minutes in Savasana.