Half Seated Forward Bend

Definition - What does Half Seated Forward Bend mean?

Half seated forward bend is a basic yoga pose that calms the mind and improves posture by stretching the muscles along the spine. To perform this pose, one leg is stretched straight out and the other is bent with the sole of the foot touching the inner thigh of the opposite leg. The torso then folds forward as the hands reach for the foot.

Half seated forward bend is also known by its Sanskrit name, ardha paschimottanasana.

Yogapedia explains Half Seated Forward Bend

In addition to stretching the back, half seated forward bend offers the following benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches the hip joints
  • Stretches and lengthens the hamstrings
  • Massages the internal organs
  • Promotes digestion
  • Eases menstrual discomfort

This pose is also therapeutic for those suffering from diabetes, colitis, kidney problems and migraines.

Half seated forward bend can be practiced with an alternate hand position. To do so, the opposite hand grabs the foot of the outstretched leg, while the other arm wraps behind the waist with the palm facing outward.

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