How to practice: Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana (Half-Bound Lotus Forward Bend Pose)

by Delight Yoga

Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana, or Half-Bound Lotus Forward Bend Pose, is one of the postures in the Primary Series of the Astanga Vinyasa yoga system. The Primary Series is said to be the most demanding because it is the first series you learn as a beginner - and every beginning is hard.  It is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning Yoga Therapy. It is a series for cleansing and healing the body.

The Primary Series sets the foundation for all of the following series. If you look superficially, it may seem as if the Primary Series is the easiest of the six series in the Astanga Vinyasa System, but in fact, it is the most demanding. It is here that you start your practice, where you get used to the breath and Vinyasas, and to your daily yoga practice. 
 

Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana Instructions
 

1. ekam
Inhale, lift the right leg, put it on the left thigh, right hand behind back, bind
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

2. dve
Exhale, bend forward, left hand beside left leg, chin to shinbone

- 5 breaths, Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana (right side)
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

3. trīṇi
Inhale, lift head
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

- Exhale, stay in this position

4. catvāri
Inhale, left hand to hip, straighten up
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

5. pañca
Exhale, lower right leg, lower arms
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

6. ṣaṭ
Inhale, lift left leg, put on right thigh, left hand behind back, bind
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

7. sapta
Exhale, bend forward, right hand beside right leg, chin to shinbone

- 5 breaths, Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana (left side)
  Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

8. aṣṭau
Inhale, lift head
Dhristi: in the middle of the eyebrows (bhrūmadhye)

- Exhale, stay in this position

9. nava
Inhale, left hand to hip, straighten up
Dhristi: to the nose (nāsāgre)

- Exhale, lower the right leg, lower arms, Samasthitiḥ
  Dhristi : to the nose (nāsāgre)
 

Ardha Baddha Padmottānāsana Benefits
 

- Stretches the hips, knees, legs, and shoulders

- Expands the chest and moves the shoulders further back

- Improves balance and concentration

- Helps to relieve stiffness in the knees

- Stimulates abdominal organs and the digestive fire (Agni)

- Cleanses the liver and spleen

- Eliminates gastric troubles and trapped intestinal gas