Definition - What does Ananda Balasana mean?
Ananda balasana is a stress-relieving yoga pose that releases the low back, lengthens and realigns the spine, strengthens the legs and opens the hips. The name for this pose comes from the Sanskrit, ananda, meaning "happiness"; bala, meaning "child"; and asana, meaning "pose."
From lying down on the back, the knees are brought to the chest and the hands grab hold of the outsides of the feet. With the knees open wider than the torso and the shins perpendicular to the floor, the feet flex gently and push against the hands as they pull down, creating resistance. Practitioners may choose to rock from side to side as well.
Ananda balasana is also referred to as happy baby pose in English.
Yogapedia explains Ananda Balasana
Ananda balasana offers relief from fatigue and stress -- not only to the body, but also to the mind. It is a great pose for promoting relaxation and calmness, and it is usually practiced at the end of a yoga class or right before sleep. It is a very easy and useful pose for beginners, but it is also an efficient and relaxing pose for advanced practitioners.
Because it is a hip opener, ananda balasana stimulates the svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra, which is the center of creativity, pleasure and enjoyment. An imbalance in this chakra can lead to sexual difficulties, confusion, purposelessness, jealousy, the desire to possess, overindulgence in food or sex, and problems in the genital area, bladder or spleen. Practicing ananda balasana can help re-balance this chakra and counteract these negative effects.
Some practitioners prefer to hold on to the big toes or the inner edges of the feet, rather than the outer edges. If it is not possible or comfortable to grab hold of the feet at all, a yoga strap can be used for assistance.