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Ardha Uttanasana
(Half Forward Bend)

How to perform Half Forward Bend

Stand in front of a wall. Keeping your back and legs straight, tip from your pelvis until your chest is parallel to the ground. Push your hands into the wall and stretch your hips backwards.

What is Ardha Uttanasana?

Ardha Uttanasana is a pose aimed at strengthening your hamstrings and opening up your chest and shoulders. As you stand in front of a wall with your feet hip-distance apart, place your hands on the wall in front of you at hip-height. Lean in halfway, positioning your buttocks over your heels and keeping your head in line with your arms.

Pressing into the floor and the wall through your feet and hands is a great way to strengthen all the crucial muscles in your body with minimal effort in preparation for more complicated poses further in the practice.

When to use it?

This is one of the more universal poses since it activates many different muscle groups at the same time. It can be used as a warm-up for standing poses and for those that require a good degree of shoulder strength mobility.

The wall serves as a counterbalance but is also helpful in minimising the effort as you focus on activating the core muscles and hamstrings in line for the rest of your practice.

If you are looking to increase wrist mobility, you can try out several variations of this pose: one involves your fingers pointing upwards, the second involves your fingers pointing outwards, and the most advanced option is having your fingers point downward.

Video sequences that include this pose