Ardha Bhekasana (Half Frog Pose)
Half frog pose
Eka Pada Bhekasana
Ardha Bhekasana is a deep, asymmetrical hip stretch that provides great relief to anyone with issues in the hips, feet or back. The pose can benefit office workers, runners, swimmers, students, and more by stretching out the hips, quadriceps, feet, and back.
Strengthens the back muscles, and opens up the abdominals, and the entire front line of the body.
This pose stretches the hips, ankles, shoulders, and front of the legs. It increases flexibility in the back muscles, and mobility in the spine as well. Practicing Ardha Bhekasana can offset the ill effects of sitting for too long.
This pose can also bring healing and relief to those with flat feet or other issues with the feet. Because the feet are a mirror to the alignment in the body, when they are healthy and flexible you can experience better alignment throughout your entire body.
When practiced slowly and mindfully, this pose can stretch and relax the muscles that surround the knee joint. Regular practice of the pose can decrease the risk of knee injuries due to the stretching and strengthening of the muscles surrounding the knees.
This backbend opens up the front of the body in a very deep way, providing more space to breathe into the lungs. The pose can be highly energizing, as it stimulates the respiratory system, and brings a suppleness around the spine. A relaxed spine is much more able to deliver messages in the nervous system to the brain.
Half Frog Pose stimulates the digestive system by compressing the intestines slightly. The pose is also very effective in easing menstrual cramps as well as menopausal symptoms. This is because the shape of the pose increases blood flow to the ovaries and uterus. In men, this pose can increase blood flow to the reproductive organs as well as the prostate gland.
Recent or recurring injuries to the neck, back, spine, shoulders, hips or knees. People with arthritis in the knees or ankles may wish to avoid the pose.
People with very weak shoulder or low back muscles may wish to modify the pose by bringing support under the chest.
Those who suffer from migraines may wish to avoid this pose, due to the potential pressure in the shoulders.
This pose is an intermediate pose that requires flexibility in the quadriceps, around the knee joint, hips and shoulders. As such, please ensure to warm up these areas of the body before practicing Ardha Bhekasana
Going into the Pose
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).