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Do Half Ahead Bend (Ardha Uttanasana) in Yoga

Additionally Identified As: Standing half ahead bend, flat again

Targets: Hamstrings, calves, torso

Stage: Newbie

In yoga, Ardha Uttanasana does not often stand by itself. When you’re acquainted to yoga follow, you already know the pose as a part of the Solar Salutation sequence the place it serves because the transition between Uttanasana and Chaturanga Dandasana. However the pose has distinctive advantages of its personal and will be a part of different sequences as you advance your yoga follow.

When you’re engaged on leaping again to Chaturanga as a part of your Solar Salutation, Ardha Uttanasana shall be fairly vital. The pose will get your higher physique within the appropriate place to circulate seamlessly from one place to the subsequent.


In Sanskrit, Ardha Uttanasana means “intense half stretch pose.” The pose actually offers your hamstrings an important stretch, however it additionally encourages good spinal alignment. Ahead bends additionally stimulate your stomach organs and promote good digestion.

This pose offers you an important alternative to follow your yoga respiratory, improve your focus, and calm your thoughts. It is also an effective way to construct up energy and adaptability you will want for superior yoga poses and sequences.

As you proceed your yoga follow, flat again is a core place you will come again to usually, as it is a basic transition pose within the Solar Salutation sequence.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Whereas in Uttanasana, take a couple of deep breaths. Whenever you’re prepared, come up onto your fingertips.
  2. As you inhale, increase your torso, maintaining your backbone flat.
  3. Exhale easily as you draw your shoulder blades collectively. Take note of your knees right here and attempt to microbend to keep away from locking them.
  4. Inhale as you carry your head and look ahead. Maintain your backbone aligned by your again and neck (it could assist to think about being pulled ahead barely out of your chest).
  5. Take this chance to get in contact together with your respiratory. Deal with inhaling and exhaling deeply, coordinating every breath with the circulate of the motion.
  6. Whenever you’re able to launch from the pose, exhale and return to Uttanasana.

In case you are mid-Solar Salutation and are utilizing this as a transition, step again to a lunge or flatten your palms to the ground in preparation to your bounce again to Chaturanga. Your arms have to be flat on the bottom. Bend your knees as a lot as essential to make this occur earlier than you try to leap again.

Widespread Errors

Your Again Isn't Flat

When you’re having bother maintaining your again flat as you bend—both since you’re nonetheless new to the method otherwise you’re missing energy—strive utilizing a wall to assist get a way of what a flat again looks like:

  1. Stand in entrance of a wall together with your arms out in entrance of you.
  2. Place your palms flat towards the wall.
  3. Transfer your arms up the wall till your backbone is lengthy and your again flat.

Attempt to commit the sensation to reminiscence. Then, as you start your yoga follow, keep in mind the way it felt to have your again flat as you bend ahead.

You're Bending on the Waist

As you bend ahead in Ardha Uttanasana, be sure to’re bending from the hips moderately than your waist. Strive putting your arms in your hip bones as you follow.

You're Leaning Again

As you bend ahead, you need your ankles, knees, and hips to remain aligned. When you fall off form, you will find yourself placing an excessive amount of weight in your heels. Practising the pose towards the wall may also enable you get a way of what the right distribution of weight ought to really feel like.

Modifications and Variations

Want a Modification?

Bending your knees might help should you lack flexibility or discover that you just’re not capable of maintain the pose throughout your follow. This modification will be particularly useful in case your decrease again is tight. Inserting a folded blanket underneath your toes earlier than you bend is an effective way to additional enhance flexibility and extra simply deepen the stretch in your hamstrings.

When you discover you need assistance maintaining your stability, you may brace your arms in your shins (not your knees), or contact the ground or a yoga block in entrance of you.

When recovering from an damage or surgical procedure involving the again or neck, strive bracing your arms on a chair in entrance of you to make the ahead bend simpler (so long as your physician has cleared you to renew train, after all).

Up for a Problem?

To additional deepen your Uttanasana, strive going from flat again to a full ahead fold. As you inhale, come as much as a flat again with the backbone lengthy. As you exhale, ahead fold deeply over your legs. Transfer backwards and forwards on the breath for 5 to 10 breaths.

Security and Precautions

As all the time, it is best to test together with your physician earlier than beginning any new train class, exercise, or yoga routine. Basically, the half ahead bend is enjoyable pose most individuals can do safely so long as they’re utilizing good type. Nonetheless, folks with sure situations needs to be aware all through their yoga follow.

  • When you’re pregnant, you might want to face together with your legs wider aside to keep away from compressing your stomach. Do not fold deeper than is comfy. In later phases of being pregnant, do not be afraid to skip the pose if it is not comfy for you.
  • You probably have sciatica or different decrease again issues, strive turning your toes in to make the pose extra comfy.
  • You probably have stability issues or are liable to falls, use help (similar to a chair, wall, or the bodily help of one other particular person) to stop damage.
  • You probably have an damage or are recovering from surgical procedure involving your neck, ahead bends with a straight again can often be completed so long as you do not carry your face to look ahead.

Strive It Out

When you can actually profit from utilizing the Ardha Uttanasana pose by itself, flat again is even higher when a part of a yoga sequence or paired with different poses.

Strive it as a part of the basic Solar Salutation sequence talked about above:

  • Solar Salutation Sequence

And likewise take into account:

  • Moon Salutation Sequence
  • Warrior Pose Sequence

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