Day 98: Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Forward Bend)

Hello! I am happy to share yet another great Sun Salutation pose that you can try at home – and at lightening speed! Two days in a row!!

If you thought Uttanasana was mind blowing – you are about to meet her big sister, ARDHA Uttanasana 🙂

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Hello Ardha!

The following are a few modifications to keep in mind while watching the video:

  1. If your hamstrings or low back are tight, bend your knees.
  2. If you can’t easily touch the mat with your knees straight, place your hands on your shins. You can also press each hand on yoga blocks set to the outside of each foot.
  3. To learn the movement of keeping your back flat, place your hands on the back of a chair. You can also press your palms against a wall, just above waist level. Walk your feet back, bending at the hips, until your torso is parallel to the ground. Your body should form the shape of an upside down “L”.
  4. If you’re practicing with a wall and can’t keep your back flat, walk your hands higher up the wall until your spine is straight.
  5. If you’re having trouble balancing, stand with your feet hip-distance apart or wider.
  6. If you have sciatica, stand with your feet hip-distance apart or wider, with your toes turned inward and heels turned outward.
  7. Women who are pregnant should stand with their feet as wide as necessary to feel stable. Only fold forward as deeply as it is comfortable for your stage in pregnancy and be careful not to compress the belly.
  8. To deepen the stretch at the back of the legs, elevate the balls of your feet by placing them on your folded mat, towel, or firm blanket.
  9. For more of a challenge strengthening the back, extend your arms directly forward, with your elbows alongside your ears.

Thank you yogaoutlet.com!!

Benefits to Ardha Uttanasana:

  • Elongates the front body
  • Strengthens the back and spine, improving posture
  • Stretches and lengthens your hamstrings and calves
  • Creates powerhouse thighs
  • Strengthens your knees, helping to prevent injury
  • Warms up your body and works on your core, stimulating the abdominal organs and belly, improving digestion
  • A good preparation for any other forward bends in your practice, particularly downward dog.

As part of the Sun Salutation series, this pose also helps to cultivate the connection of breath with movement — an action that soothes and calms the mind.

You can incorporate Ardha Uttanasana into your every day, as a gentle way to stretch after sitting for long periods. So get up from your desk and try this throughout your day! Don’t worry, no one is looking, and if they are – you will be viewed as a bad ass, in touch, power woman/man! Move between Uttanasana and Ardha Uttanasana a few times, linking your breath with your movement:

Inhaling to lift, Exhaling to lower.

Stretching your spine and legs this way can rejuvenate your whole body. Once again, moving with your breath will calm your mind! Try it out, see if you notice a difference. Close your eyes, be mindful in your movements. Focus on YOUR breath.

Your body will lengthen and strengthen with time and practice, so don’t overdo it by pushing too hard. You’ll get a deeper stretch if you relax more in the pose.   Doesn’t that sounds nice?

You don’t have to stand on your head to “Do YOGA”. THIS is Yoga!

Enjoy folks, and as always – listen to YOUR body.

If you found this useful or fun or entertaining or just thought my nephew was cute in the video and you would like to donate to that cute nephew’s aunt’s dream of going to India to continue her education in yoga therapy and share more of these juicy yoga insights with you – connect at gofund.me/Salutations2India

Thank you! Big love to you!! Have a safe and SUPER FUN holiday weekend!