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Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana// Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch (Forward Fold) pose

Getting into the pose:

To enter, start by grounding down through the left foot. Bring the right foot up with both hands and level the shin to the top of the mat, to create space and external rotation in the hip. On the exhale, gently place the top of the right foot on the inside of the left thigh. Reach behind the back (using the exhale breath to draw the waist in) to take hold of the foot.  Stay here for a few breaths. If this is comfortable in the knee and standing leg, then there is the option to move deeper by folding forward on the exhale (pictured below) bringing the left hand to the ground, on the inside of the left foot.

Common Errors in the pose:
Do not force the knee! Listen to the body here and move with awareness. This posture may not be accessible to everyone right away and if the sensation is too intense in the knee, try tree pose instead.

Benefits of the pose:

  • Opens the hip through external rotation
  • If forward folding, lengthens the hamstrings
  • Focus, concentration, balance
  • With the heel of the foot in the lower abdomen, gently stimulating digestion
  • Builds strength and stability in standing leg
  • If forward folding, brings blood flow to the head and calms nervous system.

Transitions well into:

Toe Stand

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