Happy Baby and Figure 4 Pose

Happy baby pose is one that I always struggled with when I started practicing. I would be unable to grab my feet because my hips were so tight so I always hated when I came across this pose in my practice. But, with practice I became to love this pose. If you do find this pose challenging then I suggest using a strap to help you. Happy baby has many great benefits like bringing a gentle stretch to our hips which can be really needed after a long and vigorous workout. Another great health benefit from this pose is it lengthens the hamstrings because it opens up and prevents hamstring tears and inner thigh tears as well. This pose also decompresses the sacrum and allows the upper and lower body to be healthy. Happy baby opens up tight areas and creates an energetic flow through your body and is known to be a mood booster and decrease anxiety. The steps to happy baby are:

  1. Lie on back and on your next exhale bring your knees to your belly
  2. On your next inhale, grab the outsides of your feet
  3. Open knees wider than your torso and bring them towards your armpits
  4. For an increase stretch you can rock back and forth on your back

 

Figure 4 pose has been one of my all-time favourite poses! I really enjoy sitting in this pose for quite some time because it builds a lot of heat in the body, so this is a great pose for the height of your practice. I also find it flows into some of my other favourite poses well like standing splits, star pose or triangle pose. This pose has so many great benefits for your body, like it is a great stretch for your hips and glutes which is awesome post workout. This pose also stretches your lower back as your bend forward when you bend your standing leg. Finally, this pose relieves tension in the lower muscles surrounding the sacrum which can feel awesome. The steps to figure 4 pose is

  1. Start in mountain pose standing with your legs hip distance apart
  2. On your next inhale, shift your weight to your left foot and begin to lift your right leg straight in front of you
  3. Once you have brought it up high enough, begin to bend your right leg slightly and cross it over onto your left knee
  4. Begin to bend your left leg as much that feels comfortable for you
  5. Bring your hands to heart centre and stay in the pose for 15- 60 seconds.
  6. Repeat on other side

 

 

resources used:

https://www.rishikulyogshala.org/top-10-health-benefits-of-ananda-balasana-happy-baby-pose/https://www.yogajournal.com/poses/happy-baby-pose

 

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