Do you remember putting your toes in your mouth or sucking on your mother's face? Chances are you don't, but don't let that stop you from taking a trip back in time. When's the last time you played with your body like a baby? Whether you have a regular yoga practice/exercise regimen or not, doing this stretch or yoga pose can do you a world of good. Even its name makes it feel joyful and accessible regardless of your fitness level or flexibility. You can do this pose assisted or not in the comfort of your own home to bring awareness to your hips, settle your mind and reconnect with your inner child.
Benefits of Happy Baby Pose
There are a lot of great things that can come out of this seemingly simple asana. Beyond stretching your lower body and back, you may be surprised to learn of some of these other pluses.
- You'll get a good stretch of the inner groins in addition to the back and spine.
- If you're feeling stressed, this is a great stress relieving pose.
- With repeated practice, you'll experience a lengthening of the hamstrings.
- Your sacrum is the seat of existence. This pose decompresses the sacrum and helps tone the pelvis and lower body.
- Stimulate your kidneys.
- Massage your belly and stimulate your digestive system.
Getting into Happy Baby Pose
Now that you know why this position is so wonderful, let's look at how to get into it. This is a very beginner-friendly posture, but if you find that you're uncomfortable or struggling, you can use a yoga strap, a belt or a scarf to secure your feet.
- Lie on your back and take a few deep breaths here.
- Bend your knees, bringing them to your belly while exhaling.
- Inhale and grasp the outsides of your feet with your hands. (Here's where you can use a strap if needed. Simply hold onto the straps looped over each sole.)
- Open your knees a little wider than your body before pulling your knees toward your armpits.
- Keep your angles directly over your knees and your shins perpendicular to the floor.
- Using your hands or strap as resistance, flex your foot so that your soles are pointed upward, and push your feet into your hands gently.
Happy baby is kind of like a time traveling machine for your body and spirit. Getting into this position can alleviate a lot of mental stress and help you get in touch with a younger you. It can help you to address some things in your past that you may not be aware that you're holding onto or to make better sense of the past so that you're able to move forward in a healthier way.
When you do this pose, or any other pose, it is super important to breathe and stay with your breath. Focusing on breathing allows your body to better relax into the position. It also makes more room for you to feel whatever it is you're feeling more fully and identify it. The point is to connect your mind, body and spirit in a way that brings you innerstanding and self-acceptance. You are uniquely you, and the world is waiting on the gifts that only you can offer.