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  • Half Happy Baby Hip Stretch
    A Preparation for Foot Behind the Head Yoga Pose

    Happy baby, happy baby yoga pose, happy baby hip stretch, preparation pose for leg behind the head, hip stretch

    Happy baby hip stretch is a reclining (laying on your back) hip stretch that I like to use as a prep for foot behind the head yoga pose.

    I often do it after pigeon yoga hip stretch.

    Where in normal yoga Happy Baby pose your grab both feet, in this variation you only grab one foot.

    Start with both knees bent. Grab a foot with both hands, bend the knee and use your arms to pull the knee to the floor to the side of your ribcage.

    Keep your shin vertical.

    You can focus on relaxing your hip.

    Adding Weight to Half Happy Baby Pose

    Have your other knee bent close to the chest to start with and then slowly straighten that knee and reach the foot forwards. This adds weight to same side hip helping to push it down towards the floor.

    Happy baby, happy baby yoga pose, happy baby hip stretch, preparation pose for leg behind the head, hip stretch
    Happy baby, happy baby yoga pose, happy baby hip stretch, preparation pose for leg behind the head, hip stretch

    To better prepare for foot behind the head, hold the foot with the same-side-arm and reach the other arm to the side and place it on the floor.

    You could try adding more wieght by moving your non-stretching leg to the side (though this can be difficult.) Keep that foot lifted, or if you do have it on the floor, then pull up on the leg so that the same side hip continues to sink down.

    Getting the Knee Past the Plane of the Back

    This pose is very similiar to low lunge yoga pose.

    It's also similiar in effect to the marichyasana style yoga poses.

    In all of these poses you are trying to get the knee past the plane of the upper back. The difference is that in these poses the torso moves relative to the leg.

    In Happy Baby Hip Stretch you move the leg relative to the torso.