Half Bound Lotus Standing Posture (Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana)
The Story Behind the Name:
Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana – Half Bound Lotus Standing Posture (ARD-uh BAHD-uh PAHD-mo-tun-AHS-uh-nuh), is advanced standing posture which requires the ability to concentrate as it involves body awareness and balancing in one leg while holding the other leg which is bent at knees.
“Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana” is basically a one-legged standing forward bend with the other leg in the lotus position.
“Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana” consists of six Sanskrit words:
- “Ardha” — meaning “half”
- “Baddha” — meaning “bound”
- “Padma” — meaning “lotus”
- “Ut” — meaning “power” or “intense”
- “Tan” — meaning “stretch”
- “Asana” — meaning “pose” or “posture”
“Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana” pose is also sometimes called “Half Bound Lotus Intense Stretch Pose,” “Standing Half Bound Lotus,” and “Half Bound Lotus Standing Forward Bend.”
“Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana” stretches and strengthens the hips, hamstrings, shoulders, and knees, it cleanses the liver and spleen, and improves and regulates the digestive system and improves circulation.
- Big Toe
Technical details and how to start:
- Begin standing in Samasthiti with your arms at your sides.
- Shift your weight onto your left foot and ground down to the floor firmly.
- Bend your right knee up toward your chest and rotate the right foot in.
- Place your hands under the right foot and bring your right heel to your left thigh or hip if you can and the top of your foot should rest on your leg or hip.
- Allow your right knee to drop down.
- Inhale and Reach your right arm behind your back, internally rotating the shoulder joint and catch with your first two fingers of your right hand around the big toe or catch your left elbow, what ever is easier
- Exhale and fold forwards and place your left hand flat beside your left foot on the ground, and eventually placing the chin on the shin.
- Gaze point is the big toe.
- Relax the neck.
- Duration 5 breaths.
- After 5th breath, inhale and look up, lengthening out your spine.
- Exhale in this position, then inhale to come back up to standing, holding onto the big toe.
- Exhale to release the leg, and place the hand into NAMASTE position at the heart and then repeat on the other side.
- Opens up the hips.
- Opens up the shoulder.
- Stretches the hamstrings.
- Improve balance.
- Build focus.
- Increases the blood flow to the lungs and head.
- Helps stimulate digestive organs and relive constipation.
- Improve digestion
- Only fold forward if you are able to hold onto your raised foot with the opposite hand.
- As an option try bending your standing leg slightly and folding forward a bit to help you reach the foot. Once you have made the bind, straighten your standing leg and fully return to the upright position.
- If you cannot touch your fingers or your palm to the floor, place your hand on a block or stack of blocks, instead.
- If you can easily place your palm flat on the floor, you can deepen the pose by wrapping your forearm around your standing-leg shin and clasping the heel of your standing leg.
- Relax your neck.
- Keep your shoulders parallel to the floor.
- Keep your standing leg straight, not bent.
- Do not practice this pose if you have a knee or hip injury.
- Avoid this pose if you are currently experiencing headaches, glaucoma, high or low blood pressure, or if you feel dizzy.
- Start with easy upright position and improve to forward bend.
- Women beyond three months pregnant are advised not to practice this posture.
- If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
People who decide to start practising Yoga and who are suffering from any cardiac problem, asthma, back pain, high blood pressure, neck, shoulder or spine injury or any other health related issue, should consult a doctor before starting any yogic activities and eliminate the positions that are not suitable for their particular case. Also, some particular asanas such as inversion asanas are not recommended for female practitioners who are menstruating.