Common Mistakes Beginners Make In Happy Baby

  1. Raising the shoulders off the ground:  Many beginners make the mistake of lifting the shoulders up off the ground during Happy Baby. This closes the chest and hyper-stretches the muscles of the upper back. The proper form is to keep the outer edges of the shoulders pressing down toward the ground so that the entire upper back is flat and the chest is open.
  2. Tensing up the hips: Be sure to avoid the error of tensing the hips during this pose. Happy Baby is a hip opening stretch, not a strength-building pose for the hips. To get the flexibility you need in this pose, the hips must be soft and relaxed.
  3. Tilting the chin up toward the sky: This is arguably the most common mistake beginners make when practicing Happy Baby. Lifting the chin up to the sky compresses the vertebrae of the neck increasing the risk of injury. It is often a sign of limited flexibility throughout the hips to fully position the knees at or outside the chest. The correct form is to flatten the back of your neck keeping the chin slightly tucked in toward your throat. If you are unable to do this during Happy Baby, please see the section below for modification options.
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  1. Trying to force the stretch: It can be tempting to try to force the stretch in this pose, especially if you have limited flexibility. It is a mistake to do so. The magic of Happy Baby can only happen when the shoulders, spine and hips soften and surrender into the stretch. They cannot be forced. 

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