Ardha Bhekasana

Ardha Bhekasana

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Prepare a padded surface, such as a yoga mat or a folded blanket or towel. Begin by lying on the floor on your belly, place your forearms on the floor and lift your head and upper torso.

2. Bend your right knee and bring your right heel back towards your right buttock. Support yourself on your left, forearm, then reach back with your right had and clasp the inside of your foot. Slide your fingers down over the top of the foot until the base of your palm is pressing the top of the foot.

3. Press the foot towards your buttock. As you increase in ability and flexibility, you can take the foot off to the side and press it towards the floor. Always keep your knee in line with hip, and take care not to over-extend. Don’t push on your foot so hard that it hurts your knee.

4. Remain in this position for at least 30 seconds, or several breaths, increasing the duration as your ability increases. Return to your beginning position and then repeat on the other side, or work up to doing both sides at once.

BENEFITS:

This pose stretches the entire front of the body, the ankles, thighs, groin, hips, abdomen, chest, and throat, and strengthens the muscles of the back. Mastery of this pose improves posture and helps to relieve stress and fatigue, as well as increasing energy and counteracting depression.

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