Video Transcription – Ardha Uttanasana (Standing Half Forward Bend)

Namastey friends! My name is Sandeep. Today we are going to learn Standing Half Forward Bend also called as Ardha Uttanasana. Friends this Ardha Uttanasana is very important practice especially when you do Vinaysa Flow or when you do a sun salutation A & B. When you this asana, actually your back , your torso, your legs gets affected.

Friends, when we perform this asana, this asana is very good for increasing the flexibility and it has a calm effect, it strengthens the back and also it stretches the torso nicely also, it stimulates the organs which is there inside the abdomen. Now, one thing you keep in your mind is if you have neck issue then keep the head in the neutral position. Don’t look too high, don’t look bring chin to down. Also if you have lower back injury or some kind of spine injury and still you want to do this you can bend your legs like this. Now those who have very tight hip extensors, hip flexors, they can actually keep the legs bend a little. It becomes easier.

Now watch how to do a standing asana. Lot of time, if you are new, if you are bending, then it’s better to have distance between your feet. Don’t let the feet come closer then sometime the balancing becomes an issue and if you are an advanced student it’s better to keep the feet together. Feet are a little apart. One more thing friends, I would like to tell is if you have a very high blood pressure problem, avoid this or keep the head neutral. Don’t let the head bend forward. Now, you will bend forward what we will do is we will keep the hands here by the side of the hip, by the side of the waist so that we know that we are not bending from the middle back but we are bending from the lower back. Now, after bending from the lower back just drop your hands.

Lot of people when they want to keep the back straight they exaggerate the back, by pushing the lower back too much down use the core, make the lower back, pelvis neutral, and just bend forward. Even, if you keep your palms here on the shin that’s fine. No need that your fingers touch the floor. You can keep the fingers, palms on the shin, if it’s finding difficult, you can bend the leg and keep the back straight because when you bend the leg and the knee, knees muscles will relax a little, the hamstrings will relax a little and if it’s possible keep the back straight, hold like this. If you find initially it’s too strenuous to hold this, if the legs are not too strong, just keep your hands like this. That is also fine. So, those who have flexible hamstrings, they can straighten and keep the back straight. When people place the palms either on the shin or on the thigh what they trying to do is they can bring the shoulder forward. Let the shoulder be bold behind away from the ear, chest is nice and open. Don’t let the chest collapse because that will round the middle back. So let the chest be nice and tall. Also don’t place palms on the knee because then the knee will go in the hyperextension. When we are doing this, we are engaging the quads, we are engaging the knee caps and there is a micro bend in the knee. You hold like this and you bend forward as we do so come as much as you can. Keeping the shoulder nice and open and allowing the shoulder blades should be engaged. Hold like this for some time and then slowly you can keep your hand by the side of the waist and come.

Friends, when you perform this, it is very important that we can bend forward from the lower back also we can come up from the lower back, especially when we are talking about this asana, this asana is actually like this but how to go and also how to come back plays a very important role. So, when you are doing this, when you are bending forward, make sure that you are leaning from the lower back and engaging the core so that the pelvic come also in a neutral stage. Don’t let the chest collapse. Keeping, if you want to keep your hands here and let the shoulders a little behind so the chest is open. Lot of people they bend their head too forward or lift the shin too high. Don’t exaggerate your neck or don’t bring the head fall too much where we will find the blood gushing towards the head region. It is what you can do is the neck can remain neutral, just neutral like that just hold for a while here and keep breathing, keep breathing softly into a diaphragm. If you are comfortable, you can also do this. Hold there for a while and then slowly come back.

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