Yoga Pose Breakdown: Ardha Uttanasana – Standing Half Forward Bend

Sanskrit Name: 
Ardha Uttanasana  (are-dah oot-tan-AHS-anna) 
Ardha = Half 
Uttana = Intense Stretch

Get Started: 

  • From Uttanasana, press your palms into the floor, a block or your shins
  • Begin to straighten your elbows and arch your torso away from your thighs as you lengthen your spine between your pubic bone and navel
  • Push down and back against the floor, your shins or the blocks, as you lift the top of your sternum up and forward
  • Option to bend your knees slightly 
  • Maintain a long, straight neck as you gaze forward and hold for a few breaths before releasing into Uttanasana 

Benefits: This pose stretches the front torso while strengthening the back and improving posture. It also stimulates the belly. 

Contradictions: If you have a neck injury, do not gaze forward.

Know Your Asana: This pose is challenging for beginners to master, due to proprioceptive awareness difficulties. In numerous styles of yoga, a person practices this pose upon arriving at the top of his mat. 

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