Half Circle Pose

Definition - What does Half Circle Pose mean?

Half circle pose is a relatively simple side stretching posture that helps to open the chest.

In this pose, the left leg is in a kneeling position while the right leg extends to the side with the foot grounded and toes facing forward. The left hand touches the ground to the left and the right arm reaches up and over the head with the palm turned toward the ground.

Half circle is also known by its Sanskrit name, ardha mandalasana.

Yogapedia explains Half Circle Pose

As well as stretching the side of the body, half circle offers the following additional benefits on a physical level:

  • Opens the hips
  • Stimulates the respiratory system
  • Soothes the nervous system
  • Activates the thymus gland, which boosts the immune system

If kneeling is painful for the yogi, a folded blanket can be used to cushion the supporting knee as a modification for this pose. Half circle can also be entered from side plank rather than kneeling, which some yogis find more challenging and strengthening.

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