Ardha Bhekasana or Half Frog Pose

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Half frog pose
Ardha Bhekasana
Eka Pada Bhekasana
Sanskrit
अर्ध भेकासन
Pronunciation
are-dah BAY-KAHS-anna
Meaning
ardha: “half”
bheka: “frog”
asana: “pose”

Introduction

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.

Yoga may be an effective way for athletes to improve their balance and flexibility. The results of this study suggest as much, with yogis demonstrating improved measures in these two specific components after only 10 weeks!

Muscle Focus

Half Frog Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Shoulders
  • Gluteus
  • Core
  • Quads (front thigh muscles)
  • Back muscles

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • Releases muscles around the knee.
  • Stretches quads or front thigh muscles.
  • Prevents Flat Feet condition.

Benefits of Ardha Bhekasana or Half Frog Pose

1. Helps to Prevent Flat Feet Issues

Ardha Bhekasana stretches out the ankles and feet, which can reduce and prevent painful issues such as flat feet.

2. Improves Posture

The stretch in this pose is especially great for those who spend a lot of time sitting at a desk or hunched over other devices due to strengthening the back muscles while stretching out the chest, abs and shoulders.

3. Stimulates Digestion

This pose also aids digestion by stimulating specific points on the abdomen through pressure applied during activation of these poses.

4. Stretches Hips, Ankle, Shoulders

The Half Frog 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 it can offset the ill effects of sitting for too long.

5. Soothes Sciatica

For those experiencing sciatic pain, this pose can offer relief as it stretches out and opens up the piriformis muscle which is often responsible for that particular type of pain.

6. Relaxes Muscles Around the Knee Joint

Due to the alignment of Ardha Bhekasana, this pose also relaxes muscles around the knee joint as well.

7. Eases Menstrual Cramps

This pose can be an effective asana to reduce menstrual cramps and also improve the flow of blood in the legs.

Contraindications

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 on 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.

Variations

  • Purna Bhekasana (Frog Pose)
  • Ardha Bhekasana with strap (Half Frog Pose with Yoga Strap)

Preparatory Pose

  • Virasana (Hero Pose)
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Supta Vajrasana (Supine Lying Thunderbolt Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Don’t lift your knee off the ground. Keep your shoulders pressed firmly against the floor as you hold and stretch out your left foot in Half Frog Pose.
  • Feel free to use a strap or towel around the ankle of your foot if you can’t quite reach it with one hand.
  • You may also choose to place a yoga block underneath the knee for added support if needed, but try not to rely on this too much when practicing Ardha Bhekasana or Half Frog Pose as it will reduce some of the benefits of having to balance while still holding onto that pose.

How to do Ardha Bhekasana or Half Frog Pose

  • We will begin with Sphinx Pose. Lie down on your stomach with your forehead resting on the floor and legs extended straight back. Place your forearms flat on the ground parallel to each other shoulder-width apart.
  • Now, slowly bend your left knee and reach back with your left hand to hold your left foot. Keep your shoulders pressed firmly against the ground as you do this. If you can’t quite reach your foot, use a strap or a towel around the ball of your foot and hold that instead.
  • Stay in Half Frog Pose for 30 seconds to one minute before switching sides. To come out of the pose, release the foot and return it to its starting position next to your right hip.
  • Bring both knees together into Child’s Pose for a few deeper relaxation.

Mental Benefits of Ardha Bhekasana or Half Frog Pose

  • Mental relaxation.
  • Calms the mind
  • Improves breath control

Bottom Line

Ardha Bhekasana is an excellent pose for anyone looking to improve flexibility and mobility in the hips, feet, and back. It also offers relief from common issues like flat feet, poor posture, constipation, sciatica pain, and menstrual cramps. Additionally, the pose has significant mental benefits including focus and relaxation. Practicing this asana regularly can yield tremendous results for overall health and wellbeing.

1 sources
  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4728955/
Meera Watts
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).

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