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Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana / Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana – Half Bound Lotus Pose with or without Uttanasana – Intense Forward Bend Stretch.

May 10, 2012

Option A – Ideal for Beginners.

  • Begin in Tadasana
  • Firm up the left leg and bring the toes of the right foot to rest on the ground for a breath or two
  • Lift the right leg, bend it and place it in Ardha Padmasana or Half Lotus on the left thigh i.e.
  • The side of the right ankle or the side of the right foot should rest on the left thigh
  • The higher the right foot is placed the more intense the stretch
  • The left thigh should be as tight as is possible
  • Press the right foot firmly into the left thigh, this will also assist to keep the right foot and leg in Ardha Padmasana without the use of support
  • Place the hands in Anjali Mudra or
  • Stretch the arms up above the head with either the palms facing each other, or the palms touching or the fingers interlaced with the index fingers pointing upwards
  • Hold for 3 – 5 breaths as a beginner or 8-10 breaths for a more advanced practitioner
  • Release the arms down and the right leg down back to Tadasana
  • Repeat on the left side of the body for the same duration of time.

Option B Beginners to Advanced Practitioners.

  • Begin and follow instructions as per Option A
  • If the practitioner is flexible enough and confident to do so,
  • With the right leg in Ardha Padmasana on the left thigh
  • Take the right arm behind the back and grab the toes of the right foot with the right arm remaining behind the back
  • If flexibility in the shoulder / arm does not permit this then
  • Place a belt around the top of the right foot, and
  • Take the belt behind the body from the left side, fold the right arm behind the back and
  • Grab the belt behind the body as close to the foot as is possible
  • Raise the left arm up alongside the head or
  • Place the left hand on the left hip
  • Hold for 5 – 8 -10 breaths as this variation would suit a more advanced practitioner
  • Release the hold of the right foot; gently release the right leg from Ardha Padmasana back into Tadasana
  • Repeat on the left side of the body for the same period of time.

Option C for advanced practitioners.

  • Begin and follow instructions as per Option A and B
  • If the practitioner does not wish to hold the right foot with the hand behind the back or with the belt then leave the arms alongside the body
  • Slowly raise the arms up alongside the head on the inhalation
  • Begin to hinge forward and down on the exhalation into Uttanasana
  • Place the hands down on the floor or on a block, one for each hand placed directly under the shoulders.
  • If the right foot is being held by the right hand, only lower the left arm and hand down to the floor or a block
  • Hold for 5 – 8 – 10 breaths as an advanced practitioner
  • Either lift upright into standing and then release back to Tadasana OR
  • In Ardha Baddha Padma Uttanasana release the right leg down and release into Classic Uttanasana then
  • Release either with hands on the hips to Tadasana or
  • Stretch up into Urdhva Hastasana then into
  • Tadasana
  • Repeat on the left side of the body for the same duration of time.

Counterpose / Pratikryasana:

  • Tadasana, (feet together) or
  • Samasthiti, (feet hip distance apart).

Cautions and Modifications:

  • Do not raise the arms up above the head if prone to High Blood Pressure, in this case, place the hands on the hips or in Anjali Mudra
  • As a Beginner Option, i.e. Option A, if the foot does not stay firmly on the thigh and continues to slip, then hold the right foot with the left hand and place the right hand on the right hip or raise the right arm up if not suffering from HBP
  • If prone to inner ear ailments, e.g. Vertigo, other balance disorders or flat feet, practice close to a wall for extra support and a sense of security
  • The sense of discomfort of the foot pressing on the tight thigh will only ease with regular practice of the asana
  • Be cautious of any hip or knee injury allowing the leg in Ardha Padmasana to be lower on the thigh than higher to assist with recovery or prevent further discomfort

Benefits:

  • Strengthens the legs
  • Relieves stiffness in the hip and knee joints
  • Increases flexibility to the hip and the knee joints
  • Improves and increases the power of concentration
  • Assists to bring the mind to one-pointedness
  • In the intense forward bend position the abdominal organs are contracted which improves digestion and assists with the elimination process
  • With the arm behind the back, the shoulder joint is exercised increasing circulation to the shoulder joint which in turn expands the chest facilitating respiration.

Chakra Association:

Muladhara Chakra.

Wishing you Blessings of peace and love,

Yours in Yoga,

Juanita.

_______________________________________________

Juanita Caprari is a certified Yoga teacher and Public Relations Practitioner. She started her Yoga practice in 2002. She has completed two Yoga Teacher Training Courses, the last one through Ananda Kutir Ashram and has been teaching Yoga since January 2007. jcaprari@mweb.co.za or visit the website www.yogamala.co.za.

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