Half Standing Forward Bend / Ardha Uttanasana
Step by step
- Start in Standing Forward Bend / Uttanasana.
- Root down through the feet, inhale draw the belly in and up and with a straight back come up on to your fingertips - use your back muscles to lift you.
- Create length through the spine from the tailbone to the top of the head.
- Draw the shoulder blades away from the ears.
- Look forward slightly keeping the back of the neck long, opening the front of the chest.
Tips for beginners
- If your fingertips don't easily come to the floor place your hands on your shins, or on blocks, or bend your knees.
- To experience the extension of the spine you can try the pose with your hands flat against a wall (or a chair) in front of you so that you arms are by your ears and your body is parallel to the floor.
- Extends the spine.
- Develops flexibility in the hips and hamstrings.
- Strengthens the back and legs.
Watch out for
- Keep the knees bent slightly if you have issues with your lower back.
- Don't lift the head if you have neck injuries, keep your gaze to the floor or just slightly ahead.
- Legs should be strong and active but avoid locking the knees.
- Try the pose with the hands in prayer position and the back parallel to the floor to work the core more.
- Turn it into a twist by placing your right hand on the floor under your face and raising your left arm. You can also bend the right knee a little.
- Complementary poses
- Try it in class