Life & Style | Health

Leap of good health

This asana strengthens the back muscles and is good for women

  • Bharat Thakur
  • Published: 00:00 December 10, 2011
  • Tabloid on Saturday

  • Image Credit: Francois Nel /Gulf News
  • Ardha Bhekasana
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Today, we will take a look at Ardha Bhekasana, or half-frog pose. It is a partial version of Bhekasana, or frog pose. This asana is a boon for beginners and intermediate practitioners as it is relatively easy to perform. It provides a great stretch for the quadriceps and shoulders while opening the chest and back muscles. Ardha Bhekasana is a valuable pose to practise before attempting deeper back-bends to minimise injuries.

ARDHA BHEKASANA

  • Begin by lying on abdomen. Press forearms on to the floor, and raise head and upper body, arching the upper spine slightly.
  • Cross right forearm in front of your body to keep yourself propped up. Bend left knee and take the heel towards the buttock on the same side, reach back with left hand and take hold of the inside of the left foot.
  • As you slowly turn your elbow to face the ceiling, glide your fingers over the top of your foot and coil them over your toe tips. Keep toes pointed and press the base of your palm into the top of the foot.
  • While exhaling, gently press foot toward your buttock; then take foot a little off to one side and press it towards the floor. See that your knee is in line with your hip.
  • Adjust your shoulders to the front of your mat and avoid collapsing into your right shoulder. Instead, bear down with your elbow to raise your chest.
  • Hold this final position for 30-60 seconds, breathing normally.
  • Release left foot while inhaling, return to starting position and repeat with right leg.

Benefits

  • The asana stretches the front of the body — the thighs, ankles, knees, groins, shoulders, chest, abdomen, and throat, besides the psoas muscles.
  • It strengthens the muscles of the back and improves posture.
  • It stimulates the abdominal organs and, thereby, improves digestion.
  • This asana is good for women as it prevents and relieves problems related to the uterus.

Caution

Those with neck, shoulder, knee, ankle, or lower back injuries should avoid this pose.

 

Bharat Thakur guides you through practices that will connect you to the wisdom of the ancient Indian science of exercising.

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