In addition to its physical benefits –
particularly stretching the back – ardha paschimottanasana calms
the nervous system, thereby relieving stress.
Traditionally, this variation of
paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) is believed to open
the manipura (navel) chakra, the body's energy and
vitality center. Activating manipura dispels fear and insecurity and
is associated with self-esteem, self-confidence and a sense of
purpose. Ardha paschimottanasana is also grounding and, thus,
activates the muladhara (root) chakra, which provides a sense
of stability and security. Opening muladhara also sets the
foundation for activating the other chakras.