Ardha Uttansana (Half Intense Posture) | Yoga Fundamentals
Ardha Uttanasana (Half Intense Posture) is a great way to stretch the front torso, strengthen the back, and improve posture. It's apart of the sun salutations and also a great posture to prep for Chaturanga Dandasana because it engages the navel and core.
From Uttanasana (Standing Forward Fold), root feet into the floor, engage legs and draw the lower belly up.
Inhale to lift your chest up, lengthening the sides of your torso.
Place fingertips on the ground, hands, or shins while maintaining a flat back. The body should form an upside-down 'L' shape.
Draw shoulder blades down and create length through the spine.
Gaze at the ground, keep the alignment in the neck neutral. This will create space in front of the chest while lengthening the spine.
Engage the core and hold the pose for a few breaths, then return back to a forward fold.
If you have neck injuries, avoid lifting the head to look forward.
Avoid locking the knees, instead, have a slight micro bend in the knees
If you feel tightness in your hamstrings or lower back, try bending knees to maintain a straight back. You can also use blocks to reach down to the floor.
Place hands on a chair or wall for more stability, or if you have a back injury
For pregnant practitioners, stand with a wider base and only fold as deeply as is comfortable for your stage in pregnancy. Be careful not to compress the belly.
Extend arms parallel to the floor for a more active and challenging back stretch
For practitioners with sciatica, stand with feet hip-distance apart or wider. Turn toes inward and heels turned outward.