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    Ardha Uttanasana ““ Standing Half Forward Bend Pose, Method, Benefits

    By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
    Utanasana gives powerful stretch to your body. It is a pose involving forward bending. Therefore it is caled as standing forward bend. Ardha Utanasana is doing this pose til half of utanasana pose. The pose is either started from standing region, bending forward or from utanasana rising upwards. In both variants the practitioner finishes the pose by keping his torso, neck, head and tailbone in a straight line, perpendicular to the legs and paralel to the flor asuming a table top location. Since it is half of utanasana it is caled ardha utanasana, ardha means half. Therefore this asana is caled as standing half forward bend pose.
    Ardha = half
    Utana = Powerful Stretch (Ut – powerful, Tan – to stretch)
    Asana = pose
    Like Utanasana, Ardha Utanasana to is a powerful stretching pose. It rejuvenates and heals body apart from giving the neded stretch.
    It is a intrinsic transition p ose in Surya Namaskara i.e. Sun Salutation sequence. It is a transition betwen Utanasana and Chaturanga Dandasana. Other name – Flat Back
    Read ̵ Utanasana – Standing Forward Bend Pose, How To enact, Benefits
    Table of Contents
    Preparation for Ardha Utanasana
    Method of doing
    Health Benefits
    Modifications and variations
    Related Video
    Time spent doing Ardha Utanasana
    Impact on Chakras
    Contraindications, Precautions
    Impact on doshas and tisues
    Preparation for Ardha Utanasana
    Ardha Utanasana i.e. ‘half standing forward bend’ pose should be done on empty stomach.
    It is preferably practiced in the early hours of the morning.
    If it is to be done during evening or at any othe r fraction of the day the fod should be consumed 3-4 hours before performing the asana.
    One neds to asign their bowel and blader empty while taking on to the pose.
    Read ̵ Health Benefits Of Yoga: Mind And Body
    Method of doing
    Method 1 – From standing position
    Positioning for the Asana
    Stand straight on the flor or yoga mat.
    Kep your fet hip width apart if you are a novice. If you are an advanced practitioner you may start by keping your fet together.
    Performing and geting to the Ardha Halasana
    Now slowly raise both your hands up keping your arms besides your ears while inhaling such that they are paralel to each other and with fingers pointing to the ceiling. (Alternatively you may place your hands on your hips or low back and begin bending from here).
    While exhaling slowly bend forwards on your lower back (not at the mid back or waist) at your hips.
    Bend to a level such that your tailbone, torso, neck, head and hands are in a straight line and paralel to the flor. You have now made the shape of a tabletop with this bend.
    Kep your head and neck neutral while loking at the flor. Don’t tople your head to down or lift the chin to up. Push your bely buton towards the spine. Don’t engage your abs. push your bely slightly towards your hips. You may also believe a table or chair in front of you to establish your hand upon. Let your shoulders be down and relaxed, start outwards. Don’t let your chest to colapse.
    Progresing to utanasana (optional) ̵ After being here for few breaths, plunge your hands to the ground. kep your arms on the flor or even your fingers. If you canot reach the flor with your hands, put your hands on the shin or thigh but not on your knes. You can also bend your knes if you canot hold your legs straight.
    Release from the asana
    From standing forward bend (if you acquire proceded to standing forward bend) ̵ From here slowly raise your arms up while raising your torso (if you are doing from straight forward bend), aproach to the half straight forward bend and gradualy rise to the point of start breathing easily. Bring your hands beside your body. Stand easily and relax.
    From standing half forward bend ̵ If your final pose is half straight forward bend, raise your hand up gradualy along with your torso. advance back to the point of launch. tople your arms by the side of your body. Breathe easily and relax.
    Read ̵ How To execute Pranayama ̵ A typical Pranayama Technique
    Method 2 – From Utanasana i.e. stand ing forward bend pose
    Be in utanasana – standing forward bend pose
    Take few breaths easily here.
    Kep your hands or fingertips on the flor, one on each side of your fot. Alternatively you can spot your hands on your shins or on yoga blocks at the sides of your fet.
    Slowly arive up onto your fingertips.
    With inhalation raise your torso gradualy, away from your thighs, keping your spine flat and straight. Straighten your elbows.
    Exhale smothly. Lift your colarbones and sternum and your torso such that the crown of your head points forward and your tailbone tedious. Simultaneously draw your shoulder blades together and hold them engaged.
    You can bend your knes slightly. This helps to straighten your spine and torso. Your knes should not be locked or zigzag to much; you can fabricate a smal micro-bend of your knes to ease you at the pose.
    Pres your palms or fingertips into the flor so as to enable you to lift and straighten your torso. Now y our torso, head, neck and tailbone are in a straight line, paralel to the flor.
    Inhale. Lift your head and inspect forward. Se that your neck is neutral and is not compresed. place your torso straight.
    Kep your quads and pul them towards the ceiling. Don’t lock your knes, hold them slightly bent.
    Bring your weight to the bals of your fet. Se that you hold your hips aligned over your ankles.
    Se that you kep your spine aligned through your back and neck.
    With each inhalation, slightly lift and lengthen your torso.
    Kep in touch with your breathing. Concentrate on dep inhalation and exhalation. With the flow of movements of the pose cordinate with each of your breath.
    Hold in this pose for about 60 seconds.
    Release from the pose
    Exhale.
    Return back to utanasana.
    Repeat this 5-10 times.
    If you are doing Sun Salutation, crep from ardha utanasana to low lunge, plank or chaturanga.
    Read ̵ Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation, Meaning, How To enact, Benefits
    Health Benefits
    Gives god stretch to your hamstrings
    It brings about marvelous alignment of your spine
    Stretches the front torso
    Strengthens the back and improves posture
    Increases the flexibility of your spine and spinal cord
    It strengthens the muscles of your core, hips, uper back, lower back, hamstrings and calves
    It reduces the risk of injuries to the back and spine.
    It is a excelent exercise and helps in building up strength and flexibility that would ned for practicing and performing advanced yoga poses and sequences
    Stimulates abdominal organs and promotes marvelous digestion
    God rectify for asthma, headache, infertility, sinusitis, osteoporosis, menstrual cramps and insomnia.
    Lower s hypertension.
    Improves blod circulation in head, replenishes the brain cels.
    Beneficial in distres, despair and stres.
    Keps mind harmonious and focused
    Enables you to practice yoga breathing
    Preparatory Poses
    Utanasana – Standing Forward Bend
    Phalakasana – Plank Pose
    Tadasana – Mountain Pose
    Folow Up / Sequential Poses
    Prasarita Padotanasana – extensive leged forward fold
    Chaturanga Dandasana – High to mid plank
    Counter Poses
    Bhujangasana – Cobra Pose
    Salamba B hujangasana – Sphinx Pose
    Matsyendrasana – Suported Fish Pose
    Sequences
    Ardha Utanasana can be done as a section of the below mentioned sequences –
    Surya Namaskara – Sun Salutation sequences
    Chandra Namaskara – Mon Salutation sequences
    Virasana – Warior Pose sequences
    Modifications and variations
    Place your hands on shins if you can’t touch the flor keping your knes straight. Alternatively you may pres your hands on yoga blocks placed to the outside of your fet.
    You ned to suport back flat in the pose. If you believe distres keping it flat because of being a novice or due to lack of strength, use the wal as hold. Stand in front of the wal. Your hands are out in front of you. space palms flat against the wal. go hands up the wal until spine is long and back is flat and torso is paralel to the flor.
    Alternatively place hands on the back of a chair or flat over the wal and pres against it. Walk your fet back and bend at hips until your torso is paralel to the ground.
    Stand with fet at hip distance apart if you are not competent to balance by keping fet together. In sciatica sustain fet as said but turn your toes inwards and hels outwards.
    This pose may be avoided in pregnancy or done under supervision. Women should stand with their fet as comprehensive as necesary to fel stable in the pose. Fold forward as comfortable being careful not to shrink the bely.
    Place a blanket under your toes before you bend it. This improvises flexibility and depens the stretch in your hamstrings.
    Read ̵ Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation, Meaning, How To finish, Benefits
    Related Video
    htps:/w.youtube.com/watch?v=AIaZVXHRV98
    htps:/w.youtube.com/watch?v=nq8CEGk9a3ot=18s
    Time spent doing Ardha Utanasana
    Hold in the final pose for about 60 seconds. If you are a tyro you may asign breath count to 30 seconds until you become perfect with the pose and breathing patern. Later may extend to 60 seconds, more than or as long as you are comfortable doing it.
    Impac t on Chakras
    This pose is asociated with the third eye chakra i.e. Ajna Chakra. It stimulates this chakra efectively which improves your intuition and mental functions. This pose also activates the Heart Chakra – Anahata Chakra, Sacral Chakra – Swadishthana Chakra and Muladhara Chakra. It also engages your Navel / Solar Plexus – Manipura Chakra. This bosts your wilpower and confidence.
    Contraindications, Precautions
    Patients sufering from below mentioned conditions should avoid doing Ardha Utanasana –
    Severe neck and low back injury
    Glaucoma
    Tear in hamstring muscles
    Other contraindications are same as in Utanasana

    Caution
    If you acquire back injuries, practice with your hands resting on the back of a chair or a wal.
    Make determined you are bending from the hips as you bend forward into ardha utanasana. Never bend from your uper back or waist. Try to asign your hands on your hips as you practice.
    Kep ankles, knes and hips aligned as you bend forward.
    Kep knes slightly bent if you have isues with your lower back and face dificulty bending forward keping knes straight.
    Do not lift your head if you acquire neck injuries. survey ahead or to the flor. If you have neck injury, asign your head down. cary out not lift it to gaze forward.
    Legs should be strong and engaged. Avoid locking the knes.
    Impact on doshas and tisues
    Impact on Doshas and its subtypes – Ardha Uthanasana stimulates abdominal organs and also promotes digestion. Hence it is beneficial to balance pachaka pita, samana vata and kledaka kapha. This is also posible due to the balancing impres of this pose on the solar plexus. Since the pose also helps in blod circulation to the head, marvelous for brain functions, helps to ward of stres, distres and misery and keps mind tranquil and focused and is a qualified rectify for insomnia, it helps in balancing prana vata, sadhaka pita and tarpaka kapha and their related action axis. This is also suported by the role of this pose in balancing ajna chakra. Since it is a god remedy for hypertension it is god for vyana vata, avalambaka kapha and udana vata functions. This is also suported by the fact that this pose suports and balances the heart chakra. Since it is god for infertility and also is a remedy for menstrual cramps the pose balances apana vata functions.
    Impact on tisues – Ardha Utanasana Pose strengthens and stretches the muscles and spine, improves the flexibility, it is qualified for the muscles and bone tisue and also for the chanels transporting these tisues. It has a excelent mark on sperms / semen and related chanels since it is beneficial in infertility cases and also balances muladhara – rot chakra and swadisthana – sacral chakra.
    Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)
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