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.