Standing Half Forward Bend Yoga Pose

Standing Half Forward Bend Yoga Pose is a standing, forward bend pose that targets the hamstrings and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at a beginner to intermediate level.

ajna – the third eye chakra
related poses
How To Do Standing Half Forward Bend Yoga Pose
  1. Start in the Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale as you raise your arms up from your sides, until your fingertips are pointing up at the ceiling. As you raise your arms, be sure not to lift your shoulders up to your ears.
  2. Exhale and begin bending at the hip crease (making sure not to bend at the waist), moving your arms and torso together without changing alignment.
  3. As you move forward, lean slightly to shift your weight towards your toes; this will help prevent your knees from locking. You may also instead bend your knees very slightly.
  4. Place your palms or fingertips on the floor beside your feet, or place your hands on your shins for beginners (recommended). While you inhale, push down on the floor (or shins) while straightening your elbows and lengthening your back until your back is level with a slight arch. There should be no rounding of the back but a shallow dip.
  5. Look forward, being careful not to put too much pressure on the back of your neck, or look down and keep your spinal cord straight for its length. Hold the position for a few breaths, exhale, then bring your body to the upright position.
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Do not pull your shoulders up to your ears.
  • Do not compress your neck or spine if looking forward in front of you when holding the position.
  • Keep your elbows straight.
  • If you have a back injury, perform this asana using a wall– place your hands on the wall directly in front of you instead of on the floor or shins.

Try bending your knees slightly in order to prevent your knees from locking, especially if you have strong hamstrings.
If you’re still experiencing discomfort or are unable to lengthen your back with your hands on your shins, try placing them on your knees or just above your knees.
Ardha Uttanasana, Standing Half Forward Bend, is often performed directly after and followed by Uttanasana, the Standing Forward Bend. Instead of starting in the Mountain Pose, try starting in the Standing Half Forward Bend after you are already in the Standing Forward Bend. Once you’ve held the position for a few breaths, release back into the Standing Forward Bend.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Hamstrings, quads, abs, lower back, neck, shoulders

Target Muscles: Hamstrings

Health Benefits of Standing Half Forward Bend Yoga Pose
  • Stimulates abdominal organs.
  • Improves balance.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Ardha Uttanasana

(are-dah oot-tan-AHS-anna)

ardha: half, one part
uttana: stretched out, spread out, open
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?