[Pose Of the Week] Bound Half-Lotus Forward Bend Pose (Advanced)
Stretch your legs, hips, spine, and more as you calm your mind & energize your body in Bound Half-Lotus Forward Bend Pose…
Bound Half-Lotus Forward Bend Pose (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana) is an advanced-level yoga pose that provides a deep stretch for the calves, hamstrings, groin, inner thighs, hips, and lower back. This pose may also help with symptoms of sciatica, osteoporosis, menopause, asthma, and headaches. It is also believed to relieve stress and anxiety, improve digestion, and calm the central nervous system. This is both a calming and energizing pose, and may help to relieve both insomnia and fatigue. It’s a great pose for improving balance and posture, and helps to calm and clear the mind.
As you can see, this pose has many benefits, but it’s not for everyone! Those with a back or knee injury, or who have knee or ankle pain, should avoid this pose. Be sure that you are fully warmed up and prepared for the pose before attempting it. Do not attempt the full pose if you are unable to grasp your foot in steps 2-3. Instead, practice only in the standing position until you feel comfortable moving into the full bend.
You can also try bending the knee of the standing leg slightly, which may allow you to grasp the foot more fully.
How to Do Bound Half-Lotus Forward Bend Pose:
- Start in Mountain Pose (Tadasana). Inhale as you bend your right knee and draw your right foot up toward your groin. Grab the shin and ankle and pull the heel into your lower belly, just above the hip crease.
- Exhale and slowly reach the right arm behind you, keeping your lifted leg steady with the left hand. Continue to reach back and all the way around your torso to grab the right foot on the other side.
- ONLY when you have firmly grasped your foot and are able to hold this position for several breaths, continue on to the forward bend. Keeping your left foot firmly planted, lift up through the leg to straighten it completely. Hold this pose for a few breaths.
- 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.
- Place your left palm or fingertips on the floor beside your foot so that your fingers and toes are aligned with one another. Lean forward to bring your chin as close to your shin as possible. Do not crane or overstretch your neck while doing this.
- Lengthen your torso toward the ground with each exhalation, pressing further into a full bend. Keep your shoulder blades strong and pressed firmly into the back.
- Hold this position for several deep breaths. To come up, press firmly into the floor with your left foot and unbend at the hip joints, lifting the head and torso simultaneously (do not roll up through the spine). When you’re upright, lower the right leg, resting in the Mountain Pose. Repeat steps on the other side.