Ardha Parsvottanasana

Definition - What does Ardha Parsvottanasana mean?

Ardha parsvottanasana is beginner-friendly version of parsvottanasana (pyramid pose) and can be used to warm up for the full expression of the pose. The name comes from the Sanskrit, ardha, meaning “half,” parsva, meaning “side,” ut, meaning “intense,” tan, meaning “extended,” and asana, meaning "pose."

In ardha parsvottanasana the legs are firmly grounded into the mat, with the legs separated into a wide "V," the feet pointing in the same direction, and the torso facing the mat. The torso is then lowered toward the front leg by hinging at the hips with the back straight. The hands can stay on the hips or be brought to a wall directly in front of the foot. In this asana, the drishti is the ajna chakra.

The English name for ardha parsvottanasana is half pyramid pose.

Yogapedia explains Ardha Parsvottanasana

There are several versions of this asana. In the first variation, the torso is only taken to a half forward fold and the hands press into a wall. In the second variation, the back knee lowers to the ground and the torso folds forward over the front leg. Both variations create the same calming, soothing effects of parsvottanasana and can be easily integrated into a vinyasa sequence.

When the movements of this asana are synchronized with the breath, it has many holistic health benefits as it strengthens the internal and external bodily systems simultaneously.

Ardha parsvottanasana has the following additional benefits:

  • Enhances intuition and communication
  • Helps build kundalini energy
  • Activates the ajna and sahasrara chakras
  • Calms the mind
  • Strengthens the nervous system

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