Good morning Yogis! We are continuing our cycle through the Yoga Sutras with the second of the Niyamas – Santosha or Contentment. Since we are in the middle of an April Asana Challenge, we are featuring a new Asana that represents each of the Yoga Sutras! Ananda Balasana (ah-NAN-duh buh-LA-sa-nuh) or Happy Baby pose is my choice to represent Santosha. In addition to having a synonym for contentment in the name, it is hard not to smile rocking back and forth like a happy baby in this pose!
Bonus Daily Asana Challenge
We are in the middle of a daily Asana practice challenge for April! Please see our Asana Styles page for links to YouTube videos for various Yoga Styles. For Santosha Day today, I recommend an alignment-focused Iyengar class.
I usually practice with the Yoga Studio App rather than streaming services, so I can download my favorite classes and use in areas without WiFi or phone signal. Today I am doing one of my favorites – Intermediate Flexibility, and adding an extra Ananda Balasana at the end of this series.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is to try Happy Baby Pose for Santosha Day! This pose is a favorite among all levels of Yogis, and is a great passive hip opener.
If you would prefer an off-the-mat practice for Santosha Day – try a mindfulness practice to find contentment in the present moment!
Ananda Balasana – Happy Baby Pose
Start laying on your back in Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat. Exhale and hug your knees in towards your chest.. you may want to enjoy this pose for a few breaths before coming into this pose!
Inhale and reach your hands between your knees. Grab the outside of each foot, exhale and spread your legs to each side of your torso. Ideally, your thighs will be parallel to the ground on each side of your torso and your feet will be flat up to the sky, but only bring your legs down as far as is comfortable. Your arms should be gently spreading your legs to the sides rather than forcing them down to the ground.
Take deep breaths into your belly (perhaps try Vilona Pranayama) and hold this pose for at least 3-5 full breaths. You can stay still, or rock slightly side to side like a happy baby this pose is named for. When you’re ready, release your feet and come back into Savasana / Corpse Pose with your knees bent and feet on the mat.
PS If you are comfortable with variations of these poses, please tag us with your pictures on Instagram!
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Please comment to share your experience! Have you tried this pose before? Always remember, be kind!