[Pose Of the Week] Open Up & Stretch With Half Frog Pose (Intermediate)
Stretch your back, hips, legs, and more with Half Frog Pose, and prepare your body for deeper backbends…
Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana) is an intermediate yoga pose that provides a deep stretch for the groin, hips, ankles, knees, thighs and chest. It also stimulates the abdominal organs and builds strength and flexibility in the back, while improving digestion, posture, and circulation. For women, the pose may also help to increase blood flow to the uterus and other reproductive organs. Practicing this pose regularly helps to decrease the risk of knee injuries, so it’s a great pose for runners, dancers, and hikers or other athletes.
If you are suffering from a recent or chronic back or knee injury, you should avoid this pose.
To modify the pose, lie on your stomach with your opposite forearm resting on the floor in front of you, and rest your forehead on the back of your forearm as you perform the stretch. You may also place a pillow under your rib cage for added comfort and support.
How to Do Half Frog Pose:
- Start on your belly, in sphinx pose (up on your forearms with your elbows stacked directly under your shoulders). Engage your low belly, broaden your collarbones, and lift up through your chest.
- Then, come up onto your left fingertips, walking your left hand out wide (so wide that it comes off of your mat and onto the floor.
- Lightly squeeze the back of your left thigh and the left side of your butt as you bend your left knee and draw your heel in toward your seat.
- Catch hold of the big-toe side of your foot with your left hand, bending your elbow to draw your heel in toward you for the thigh stretch.
- Continue to engage your low belly, and keep your rib cage and chest facing forward, toward the short edge of your mat.
- Come out of half frog pose if you feel any pinching or pain in your lower back or shoulders. Otherwise, remain in the pose for a few breaths.