In our 5th video on partner assisted stretches, we will focus on the hips, inner thighs and groin.
The Ananda balasana is also called the happy baby pose or the dead bug pose as it resembles both very closely. But since a happy baby seems more positive, and the asana has positive effects on the body, it is more widely known as the happy baby pose. It is known for its innate ability to calm the mind and de-stress the body.
In this episode, yoga expert Ananya shows us how to do Ananda balasana with the help of a partner.

STRETCH 1 | Ardha Ananda Balasana
1. Start by lying down on your back on a yoga mat with your legs bent at the knees.
2. Now, slowly, bring your right knee to your chest.
3. With the help your partner, bring your feet up until your sole is facing the ceiling.
4. Gently bring your right arm from the inside and hold on to the sole of your foot.
5. Have your partner place their left hand on your sole and their right hand on your left thigh.
6. Keeping your left hip in place by pushing down using their right hand, have your partner slowly and gently push your left foot until your knee is lowered towards the ground as much as possible.
7. Now, to release, gently bring the leg back up and then drop it down to the floor. Repeat on the other side.

STRETCH 2 | Ananda Balasana | Happy Baby Pose
1. Start by lying down on your back on a yoga mat with your legs bent at the knees.
2. Now, bring both of your knees to your chest.
3. Opening your knees, bring your hands from the inside and hold on to the soles of your feet.
4. Have you partner bring your feet up to face towards the ceiling and place their palms on the soles of your feet.
5. Inhale as you hold this posture, and with your exhale, bend your elbows, and have your partner gently bend down, allowing their weight to push your knees into the ground.
6. Hold this posture for at least 5 breaths.
7. To release, have your partner let go, bring your legs slowly back up. Now, hug your knees and lift your head up, coming into the Pavanamuktasana pose. This acts as the counter pose.

Why to:
Gently stretches the inner groins and the back spine
Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and fatigue
This pose gently brings a greater awareness to the hip joints.

Avoided by:
It is recommended for women to avoid practiicing this pose during pregnancy. Also people who suffer from any sort of knee injury are adviced not to practice this pose. For people with any neck injury, support your head on a thickly folded blanket while practicing this pose.

Best time:
These stretches can be performed at any time, or in the early hour’s right after you wake up as your joints would be relaxed at that time. But it is advised to perform these poses before eating or only after at least 3 hours of having your meals.

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