Half Frog Pose, Ardha Bhekasana, (aar-dhah bhe-kaa-suh-nuh)
ardha (half) + bheka (frog) + asana (pose)
Also Known as: Eka Pada Bhekasana
Invite a deep stretch into your quads and build a strong spine with Half Frog Pose
Half Frog Pose Fundamentals
Half Frog Pose is a supine backbend and a great quad stretch. It is a variation of the full Frog pose, the main difference being that in Half-Frog only one leg is bent.
There is another family of yoga poses which are referred to as Frog and Half Frog – but these are not related and refer to hip openers.
In Sanskrit, the hip opener is called Mandukasana, and the pose we are covering today is Bhekasana. However, both manduka and bheka translate to “frog”.
If you read more about this pose in texts or see the name in sequences, make sure to double-check which pose the author is referring to. For example, B. K. S. Iyengar uses both Mandukasana and Bhekasana for the same pose in his text Light On Yoga.
This asana can be included in your sequence but also separately as a cool down or stretch after running or other workouts.
It can be therapeutic for athletes but also for those who sit for long periods of time.
This asana is a great warm-up for more intense backbends such as Bow Pose or Camel Pose.
Energetically, it activates the Sacral Chakra, supporting kidney and reproductive organ health, and also boosting your creativity, and encouraging you to enjoy the pleasures in life.
Half Frog Pose Benefits
- Stretches thighs, hips, back, shoulders, and chest.
- Boosts energy and opens the heart.
- Prepares the body for even more intense backbends.
- An effective and helpful stretch for runners and cyclists.
- Encourages focus as you need to make sure you are entering with correct alignment, avoiding twists, and ensuring the shoulders and hips are aligned. In a way, this can warm up the brain for more intense poses.
- Since you are lying on the stomach, you will stimulate the internal organs of the abdomen and also reproductive organs, boosting digestion, detoxification, hormonal balance, and general function of these organs.
- The backbend opens the heart and this automatically encourages you to breathe more deeply.
- Can relieve neck stiffness, plantar fasciitis, arthritis in the hips, knees, and hands, and lower back pain.
How To Do Half Frog Pose: Step-By-Step
How To Get There:
- Lie on the stomach and enter Sphinx Pose, lifting the chest and placing the forearms on the floor in front of you, so the elbows sit under the shoulders.
- Push the pubic bone into the ground and draw your stomach in.
- Now move the left forearm in front of the body, placing the hand in front of the right shoulder.
- Bend the right knee and grab the top of the foot with the right hand. Pull the foot towards your hips.
- If you are able to bring the foot close to the buttocks, then turn your hand so the fingers face forward and the elbow faces upward.
- Keep the chest open and the front arm active.
- Hold for 3 to 5 breaths.
Tips And Tricks:
- To make this pose more passive and therapeutic, support the upper body with a bolster or a cushion. Place it under the armpits and chest, taking some work away from the front arm.
- If you can’t reach the foot, you can use a strap to lengthen your reach.
- If the backbend is too deep, instead of entering from Sphinx Pose, lay flat on your belly and rest the forehead on your front hand. Bend one leg as you usually would.
Half Frog Pose Variation:
Half Frog Pose Variation: Simplified Half Frog Pose
There are several ways in which you can simplify Half Frog Pose.
For example, you can play with the position of the front arm. Bring it closer to the chest for a deeper back bend and move it away from you to release the pose.
Also, you can practice the asana lying on the side. Lie on the side of the extended leg, and then bend the other knee grabbing it with your hand. This is a great variation for pregnant women and all others who don’t want to place weight on their abdomen.
You can also loop a strap around the back foot to lengthen your reach. Simplify the pose further by placing a cushion or bolster underneath your chest.
Half Frog Pose Variation: Resting Half Frog Pose
Begin in Child’s Pose, then move forward onto your belly.
Place one hand on top of the other and place your forehead on it.
Bring the right knee up, so it sits next to your right hip on the floor. The ankle should be directly below the knee.
You can move your gaze toward the right if you’d like. Place some cushioning under the knee if it hurts.
Half Frog Pose Variation: Full Bhekasana
Once you’ve done Half Frog Pose on both sides, you can try the full Frog Pose.
Grab the feet with both hands. Now, you’ll need to use only the strength of your back to keep the chest lifted off the ground, which is what makes this asana much more challenging.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Sensations in knees. If you feel any sensation in your knees like discomfort or pain, move back a little, and don’t pull as hard with your hand. You should feel the stretch in the thigh muscle and not the knee joint.
Injuries and Conditions
Avoid in case of injury or surgery in the spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. Also refrain from the pose in case of abdominal surgery, spondylolisthesis, and pregnancy.
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