Is there any pose more giggle-inducing than Happy Baby? Looks like all those babies are on to something! Although the physical flexibility we had as infants may feel like a distant memory, with practice this pose will help to gently ease out the kinks and tension we hold in the notoriously tight adult hips and groins.
Not only does the pose feel great in the body, an additional benefit is that it almost always brings a smile to my face (for those days when you’re not feeling so happy, I’ve also heard this pose referred to as “Dead Bug”!).
Benefits Of Happy Baby Pose
Happy Baby pose provides a gentle stretch to the hips, inner groins and low back, helps to lengthen and realign the spine, and strengthens the arms and shoulders. The pose also calms the mind and can relieve stress and fatigue, making it a nice choice to do before bed or at the start/end of practice.
Happy Baby Pose Step-By-Step
- Begin lying comfortably on the back. Bend your knees in to your chest and separate the feet and knees wide, holding on to the outer (pinky toe) edges of the feet.
- Stack your ankles over your knees, bringing the shins perpendicular to the floor, and gently begin to pull down on the feet, finding the action of bringing the knees closer to the armpits.
- Lengthen your tailbone down toward the mat to find the natural curve of the low back, and draw your shoulders onto your back.
- Keep your feet flexed and extend out energetically through the heels.
- If it feels appropriate, you can gently rock from side to side, providing a deeper release in the inner groins.
- Remain in the pose for 5-15 full, deep breaths. To come out, release the grip on the feet, bend the knees into the chest, and wrap your arms around your legs before extending them straight down onto the mat.
Some people find it more comfortable to hook on to the big toes with the peace fingers (pointer and middle finger) of each hand, or to hold on to the foot from the inside (arch) edge. If it feels challenging to hold on to the feet directly, try looping a strap around the ball of each foot instead.
Also, if there is any strain or discomfort in the neck, place a folded blanket or towel under the head to maintain the natural curve of the cervical spine.