AnatomyAnkles, Chest, Hamstrings, Shoulders, Spine
Pose TypeForward Bend, Standing
Ardha Uttanasana (are-dah Ooot-tan-Ahs-anna) ardha = half / ut = intensity / tan = extend, stretch
- Strengthens the back muscles
- Tones the abdominal muscles
- Improves posture
- Back injuries
- Hamstring injuries
- Ground through your feet, pressing your weight into the mounds of the big toe, little toe, and center of the heels.
- Firm your quadriceps and slightly rotate the inner thighs back. Bring your hips over your ankles.
- Extend your chest forward and your tailbone behind you to lengthen your spine. Draw your shoulders back away from your ears and spread across your collar bones.
- Place your fingertips in line with your toes or rest your hands on your shins.
- Lengthen the sides and back of your neck evenly. Bring your gaze approximately six inches in front of your toes.
- Engage your core.
MODIFY OR REPLACE
- Bring feet hip-distance apart.
- If your hamstrings are tight or you have a back injury, bend your knees.
- Place hands on yoga blocks for support.
- Part of Sun Salutations
- Practiced before and after full Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold)
- Precursor to prone spine strengtheners, such as Chaturanga (Four-Limbed Staff pose)
- Place your fingertips on your mat or on blocks.
- Lengthen your spine and reach through the crown of your head.
- Draw your shoulders back, away from your ears.
- Breath across your heart space.
- Deepen the hamstring stretch by placing the balls of the feet on a folded blanket.
WATCH OUT FOR
- Rounding in the back
- A student’s arms hanging without support under the fingers
- A student shifting their weight back into their heels
- Hyperextended or locked knees