|Category:||Yoga Lesson Planner|
|Sub Category:||Seated & Floor|
|Types:||Balance, Seated & Floor, Stretch, Supine|
|Anatomy:||Arms & Shoulders, Biceps & Triceps, Core, Hamstrings, Hips, Lower Back, Middle Back, Psoas, Upper Back, Wrists & Arms|
|Chakras:||Base, Sacral Centre|
|Therapy:||Leg Congestion, Varicose Veins|
Lie on your back. Bring the left knee towards the chest. Hold onto the sole of the foot (or shin) with your left hand. Repeat on the other side.
Opens hips, relaxes the body, improves digestion, reduces stress, and improves circulation.
1) Strap: Wrap strap around arches of feet. 2) Block: Place a yoga block or a blanket under your hips to provide support. 3) Bent Knees: Keep knees bent and hold onto your shins. 4) Wall: Lie on your back, place feet on a wall, grab outside edges of feet and draw knees towards armpits.
Pregnant. Knee injury.
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Happy Baby Pose, also known as Ardha Ananda Balasana, is a popular yoga pose that offers numerous benefits for both the body and mind. It is a beginner-friendly pose that is usually included in many yoga sequences, especially those that focus on hip opening and relaxation. As a yoga teacher, it is essential to have a good understanding of this pose so you can guide your students through it effectively.
Ardha Ananda Balasana is pronounced as:
“Are-duh Ah-nun-dah Buh-luh-suh-nuh”
5 Benefits of Half Happy Baby Pose
Hip opening: It is a fab hip opener that helps to stretch the inner thighs, groins, and hips. It can also help to relieve tension in the lower back and hip flexors.
Promotes relaxation: This pose is great for relaxing the body and mind, making it an ideal pose to practice before bedtime or during a gentle yoga practice.
Improves digestion: Happy Baby Pose can help to stimulate digestion by massaging the abdominal organs.
Reduces stress and anxiety: The gentle stretch and relaxation that this pose provides can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Improves circulation: By opening up the hips and stretching the inner thighs, Happy Baby Pose can improve circulation in the lower body.
8 Teaching Steps for Half Happy Baby Pose
Begin by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground.
Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, draw the left knee towards your chest.
Hold onto the shin (or sole of the foot) of the lifted leg with the left hand.
Flex the foot of the lifted leg and keep the other foot on the ground.
If it feels comfortable, you can gently rock side to side, massaging the lower back.
Hold this pose for a few breaths, allowing the hip and groin area to gently open.
Release the leg and repeat on the other side.
After completing both sides, release both legs and take a moment to relax.
10 Modifications for Half Happy Baby Pose
Here are 10 modifications for the pose that can be used to make the pose more accessible or to deepen the stretch:
Bolster: Place a block or bolster under the head for support.
Strap: Use a strap to hold onto the lifted leg if holding onto the shin is too difficult.
Folded Blanket: Place a folded blanket or cushion under the lifted knee to support it.
Rolled-up Blanket: Place a rolled-up blanket or bolster under the lower back for extra support.
Block: Place a block or cushion under the hip of the lifted leg to elevate it.
Other Leg Bent: Keep the other leg bent with the foot on the ground instead of straightening it.
Hold Onto Thigh: Instead of holding onto the shin, hold onto the back of the thigh.
Block Under Head: Place a block or cushion under the head and neck for extra support and comfort.
Avoid: If you have knee or hip pain, avoid flexing the lifted foot and keep it relaxed.
Circles: Instead of rocking side to side, gently move the lifted leg in circles to massage the hip and lower back.
5 Props for Half Happy Baby Pose
Using props can be incredibly helpful for students to find a comfortable and safe variation of the pose. Here are some props that can be used:
Blankets: Folding blankets can be placed under the head, the lower back, or the lifted knee for support and comfort.
Blocks: Blocks can be placed under the hip of the lifted leg to elevate it or under the head for support.
Straps: Straps can be used to hold onto the lifted leg if holding onto the shin is too difficult.
Bolsters: Bolsters can be used under the head, the lower back, or the lifted knee for support and comfort.
Cushions: Cushions or pillows can be used under the head, the lower back, or the lifted knee for support and comfort.
Using these props can help students find the right amount of support for their bodies, and allow them to deepen their relaxation and stretch. It’s important to encourage students to use props to make the pose more accessible and to help them avoid any discomfort or strain in the hips, lower back, or knees.
9 Teaching Tips for Half Happy Baby Pose
Here are 10 teaching tips for the pose:
Focus On The Breath: Encourage students to focus on their breath and to inhale deeply into the belly and into the area around the lifted leg.
Neck & Shoulders Relaxed: Emphasize the importance of keeping the neck and shoulders relaxed throughout the pose.
Hips On The Ground: Remind students to keep their hips on the ground and to avoid lifting the other leg off the ground.
Hold For 5-10 Breaths: Encourage students to hold the pose for at least 5-10 breaths on each side, allowing the hip and groin area to gently open.
Foot Flex: Remind students to flex the foot of the lifted leg to support the knee and to keep the ankle aligned with the knee.
Visualization: Suggest the use of visualization techniques, such as imagining the hip and groin area opening like a flower, to help students deepen their relaxation and mental focus.
Listen: Encourage students to listen to their bodies and to make any necessary adjustments to find a comfortable and safe variation of the pose.
Talk About The Benefits: Talk about the benefits of the pose, such as relaxation, stress relief, and improved digestion, to encourage students to add Half Happy Baby Pose into their daily home practice.
10 Visualizations that Students can use for Half Happy Baby Pose
Here are 10 visualizations to help your students:
Gently Rocking A Baby To Sleep: As you lift and lower your leg in Half Happy Baby Pose, imagine singing “Rockabye Baby” and gently swaying your leg to the rhythm, as if you were actually rocking a baby to sleep.
Blooming Flower: Visualize a beautiful flower blooming from the hip of the lifted leg, growing and opening with each inhale.
Golden Thread: Imagine a golden thread pulling your lifted leg up towards the sky, creating space and length in the hip and groin area.
Warm Light Stream: Picture a stream of warm light flowing into the hip and groin area with each inhale, and carrying away any tension or tightness with each exhale.
Serenity Landscape: Visualize a peaceful, serene landscape that you can see in your mind’s eye, and feel your body relaxing into that space with each breath.
Relaxation Wave: Picture a wave of relaxation spreading through your body, starting from the hip and groin area and moving up through the rest of the body.
Balloon Lifting: Imagine a balloon gently lifting your lifted leg up towards the sky, expanding the area around the hip and groin with each inhale.
Open Door: Picture a door opening in the hip and groin area, allowing any tightness or tension to release and float away with each exhale.
Warm Blanket: Visualize a soft, warm light wrapping around the hip and groin area like a cosy blanket, comforting and soothing any discomfort or strain.
Gentle Breeze: Imagine a gentle breeze blowing through the hip and groin area, carrying away any tension or tightness and leaving a feeling of openness and relaxation.
Hip Opening Yoga Sequence With Half Happy Baby Pose
Here’s a yoga sequence focusing on supine hip opening poses:
Lie on your back and practice the Seated Pigeon Pose, holding for 5 breaths on each side.
Practice Half Happy Baby Pose on the right side, holding for 5 breaths, then switch to the left side.
Move into Reclined Hand To Big Toe Pose, holding for 5 breaths on each side.
Come into Supine Butterfly Pose, holding for 5-10 breaths.
End the practice in Supine Lying Twist, holding for 5 breaths on each side.
This sequence emphasizes hip opening in a gentle and relaxing way through a series of supine poses. As always, listen to your body and modify or skip any poses that don’t feel comfortable or safe for you. To create a full yoga lesson plan with a “hip opening poses” theme take a look at my online Yoga Lesson Planner.
Don’t Forget The Precautions For The Pose
Avoid lifting head and shoulders: Make sure to avoid lifting the head and shoulders off the ground and keep the neck and shoulders relaxed throughout the pose.
Avoid this pose if you have a knee or hip injury: Happy Baby Pose puts pressure on the knees and hips, so it’s essential to avoid this pose if you have an injury in these areas.
Listen to your body: If you feel any discomfort or pain while practising this pose, come out of it immediately.
Half Happy Baby Pose is a gentle and accessible pose that can be added to any yoga lesson plan and used as a stand-alone pose for relaxation and stress relief. It’s a great pose for targeting the hip and groin area, promoting relaxation, and improving digestion. Practising Half Happy Baby Pose regularly can help to release tension in the lower back and hips, making it a valuable addition to any yoga lesson plan.