Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana
Meaning: Ardha means half, Baddha means bound, Padma means lotus, while Paschimottanasana is composed by Paschim that means back body, Uttana means intense stretch, and Asana means pose.
Step by step method: to enter in this asana we need to sit in Dandasana, with the spine straight. Bend the right knee and bring the shin as close as possible to the chest, than place the right dorsum of the foot on the left groin, in half lotus. Bring the right knee as close as possible to the floor, pointing forward. Sweep the right arm behind the back and grab the right big toe. Exhale, extend the body forward and grab the left foot with the left hand if possible, otherwise just grab the ankle. Move the right frontal hip, right shoulder and rib cage forward, so the upper body is in line and facing straight. Exhale and try to place the forehead on or toward the left shin.
Wrong alignment: trying to reach the shin with the head before time could bring you to bend the spine in a wrong way. Hips and shoulder not in line is another common mistake.
Right alignment: as mentioned before, the spine should be lengthened, the hip bones parallel to each other, and the shoulders pointing forwards. Buttoaks should both touch the floor.
Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana Benefits:
- increase flexibility of knee, hip, and shoulder joints
- stretch back muscles and calf muscles
- increase blood circulation to the spinal nerves
- massage and tones internal organs
- reliefs constipation
- stimulate liver and kidneys
Who should avoid it: don’t practice if suffer asthma or diarrehoea. It should be approached carefully from who have knees problem, due to the possible knee twist applied during the position.