Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ardha Uttanasana

Half Forward Fold

Start in Tadasana: Stand with your feet together with your toes facing forward. Your big toes and inner heels should try to touch. Try to distribute your weight equally between the inner and outer sides of your feet.

Move through Hasta Uttanasana: Take an inhale and raise your arms above your head. Extend through the spine in an upward motion. Your arms will be straight and parallel to each other. Your palms can face each other or towards the ceiling.

Next move to Uttanasana: Gently fold forward from the hip joints. Your tailbone and hips will move slightly back to help balance out the weight as your torso moves forward in a folding motion. Try to keep your spine as straight as possible as you lengthen your torso over your straight legs. 

How to do it: 
Keep your back as straight as possible. Press your hands into the floor so your hands are beneath the shoulders. With a long, strong and straight spine, lift your torso until it is parallel to the floor. You can also come onto your fingertips if you can't keep your palms on the floor. 

Try not to compress the back of your neck as you come up.

Option 1: You can bend your knees as you bring your torso up if you have difficulty keeping your legs straight. 
Option 2: You can place your hand on a block, your shins or your thighs to help keep your back straight. 

Drishti (Where you should look):
Look forward.

Why we do it: 

This pose is a great way to lengthen your back and stretch your hamstrings. 

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