Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Forward Bend)

English Name(s)

Standing Half Forward Bend

Sanskrit

उत्तानासन/ardha uttānāsana

Pronunciation

ARE-dah-OOT-tan-AHS-ahna

Meaning

ardha: “half”

ut : “intense”

tan : “to stretch or extend”

āsana: “posture”

Standing Half Forward Bend Pose is also referred to as Ardha Uttanasana in Sanskrit. It is a part of the Vinyasa style of yoga and is one of the intermediate poses in Sun Salutation.

This yoga asana or yoga pose can be used to increase the flexibility of the spinal cord and strengthen the muscles in your core, hips, hamstrings, calves, upper and lower back.

You can perform this simple yoga stance anytime and anywhere. Also, it makes for an effective warm-up pose. During Vinyasa sequences, this asana is used to keep track of your breathing as you transition from one yoga pose to another.

Physical Benefits:

Ardha Uttanasana is well known for its positive effects on the human body. Our backs and spine carry a high risk of injury during strenuous activities. The Standing Half Forward Bend Pose helps strengthen the back and spine areas, hence minimizing the risk of any future injuries.

This asana corrects your posture and is thus suitable for desk workers. It stretches your hamstrings and calves. It also strengthens the hips, core and back muscles, preparing you to perform more complex exercises.

In the modern age, hypertension has become very common. While medication can help keep it under control, the risk of potential side effects is very high. The Ardha Uttanasana works in various areas of your body and can help lower hypertension.

Practicing this asana stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion. The massaging action also helps to reduce abdominal pains. So, if you suffer from severe menstrual cramps, then it is recommended that you give this yoga pose a try.

The Standing Half Forward Bend Pose can also be used to alleviate the symptoms of asthma, headache and insomnia. It also has positive effects on people suffering from infertility, sinusitis and osteoporosis.

Energetic Benefits:

Ardha Uttanasana is beneficial for people having anxiety, depression and stress.

While doing this asana, the head is positioned below the heart. As a result, the blood circulation in your head improves and the brain cells get replenished with the inflow of fresh oxygen.

Since this pose is often associated with the Ajna (Third Eye or Guru) Chakra, Ardha Uttansana can be used to stimulate the third eye area. As a result, one can find their intuition and mental functions improving.

In addition to the Heart Chakra, your Sacral (Swadisthana) Chakra and Root (Muladhara) Chakra are also activated. Lastly, this asana engages your Navel/Solar Plexus (Manipura) Chakra, thereby boosting your willpower and confidence.

Contraindications:

In case of a lower back injury, glaucoma or a tear in the hamstrings, you must stop practicing this asana. However, if you still want to continue, then please keep your knees bent during the session. Another option is to use a wall as a support. Simply place your hands on the wall, parallel to the floor.

If you are suffering from any kind of neck injury, then instead of looking forward you can keep your head down while performing this asana.

Going into the Pose

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