Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

One of my favourite asana is called Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana.
Starting in Tadasana, with an inhalation you bend your right knee and grab the right ankle/shin to bring to a half lotus resting on the upper thigh of your left leg. With an exhalation, you internally rotate your right shoulder to grab the toe of your right foot. Once you’ve caught the right foot, keep the left leg straightened, inhale and raise your left arm. With an exhalation, bend forward, placing the left palm on the floor next to your left foot. The final pose has the left fingertips in line with the left toes, with chin to your shin. After 5 breaths, with an inhalation, press firmly into the left palm and lift your torso back up to an upright position. Exhale, unravel your half lotus, and come back to Tadasana.
This asana has benefits in opening hips and shoulders, stretching the hamstrings and extending the spine. As the body is bending forwards, blood flows into the lung and the head, while the half lotus foot massages the digestive system.
Personally this is my favourite pose because I love balancing, and this is a challenging asana that requires balance skills together with flexibility in the hamstrings and the shoulders. This asana is also a prep pose for half lotus toe balance.
Naho Udagawa – 200hr YTTC weekday

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