Ardha Uttanasana ( standing half forward bend) – Steps and Benefits


Yoga has become a way of living for most people. With so many health benefits that it has, its importance cannot be denied. Yoga helps you connect spiritually and relaxes your mind. It radiates positive energy and keeps the aura light and refreshing. In this series, another fantastic asana, which works wonders, is the Ardha Uttanasana. Also known as the standing half forward bend. It derives its name from the Sanskrit word Ardha meaning half, Uttana meaning intense stretch, and asana meaning pose. It is a part of the Surya Namaskar or the sun salutation sequences. It is done just after Uttanasana and prepares the body for coming back into the pose. It is a standing forward bend that relaxes and rejuvenates the mind and body. The asana activates the third eye chakra, which helps in maintaining mental health and intuition. It acts as a foundation pose for many forward bend asanas. Practicing the asana brings a host of advantages. It works as a therapy for many diseases and mental health. It should be practiced on an empty stomach and preferably early in the morning.

How to do Ardha Uttanasana?

As it is a preparatory pose for many other forward bend asanas. The Ardha Uttanasana should be practiced with utmost attention and efficiency. The right steps should be followed so that maximum benefits can be entailed. It builds up strength and flexibility, which is also essential for other advanced levels of yoga. Let’s discuss the steps involved in performing Ardha Uttanasana.

  1. Start by remaining in Uttanasana (discussed in earlier blogs) and take deep breaths. Then, come on your fingertips.
  2. Now lift your torso while your spine is flat and you inhale.
  3. While you exhale, draw your shoulder blades together gently. Knees should be half bent so that they do not get locked.
  4. Now inhale and lift your head and look forward. The spine is aligned with your back and neck while you are doing this. 
  5. Become aware of your breathing movements and concentrate on your breath while you are inhaling and exhaling. Try to bring coordination and go with the flow of movement.
  6. Finally, release from the pose and come back to the position of Uttanasana.
  7. Relax and calm your mind and body. 
  8. Modification of the asana- for beginners, bending knees, and holding the posture for long can be challenging. Placing a blanket under your toes before turning will help better flexibility and provide an excellent stretch to hamstrings.
  9. Precautions- people suffering from any neck injury or lower back issues should avoid doing the asana. Pregnant ladies should also avoid practicing asana.

Benefits of Ardha Uttanasana 

Ardha Uttanasana should be made a part of your yoga regime. It has a lot of benefits attached to it, which make it worth to be practiced daily. It helps in regulating your breathing movements and relaxes your mind. It improves your concentration power and strengthens your hamstrings. Let’s discuss some of the fantastic benefits of practicing Ardha Uttanasana.

  1. It provides strength and support to the back.
  2. It aids the digestive system and eases bowel movements.
  3. It gives a great stretch to the hamstrings, calves, and hips.
  4. It strengthens the torso and improves posture.
  5. It rejuvenates and calms the mind.
  6. It opens up the heart and stimulates the third eye chakra.
  7. The asana stretches the chest and strengthens the legs.
  8. It activates the belly and helps in weight loss.

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