Half Splits Pose (Ardha Hanumanasana)

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Half Splits Pose, Ardha Hanumanasana, (ar-dhah h-nu-maa-naa-suh-nuh)

ardha (half) + hanuman (an ardent devotee of Lord Rama) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Half Monkey Pose, Reverse Lunge Pose, Half Split, Runner’s Lunge

Pose Type: Stretching, Stress Relief, Sciatica

Difficulty: Intermediate

a picture of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing half splits pose

A warm up pose for the full splits, or a deep stretching pose for the hamstrings, come into your breath in Half Splits Pose.

Half Splits Pose Fundamentals

This pose celebrates Hanuman, the monkey God, one of the main characters of the Ramayana (one of the two main Sanskrit epics of ancient India).

The Splits represent his famous leap of faith across the ocean from India to Sri Lanka, hence the name of the pose Ardha Hanumanasana.

Arda means half, making the Half Splits Pose a preparatory pose for the full Splits, or Hanumanasana. From this, we can say that the Half Splits represent the stability and strong foundations needed to make an epic, life-changing leap of faith.

In this asana, rather than focusing purely on flexibility, think of the pose as a balance of flexibility and strength.

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing half splits pose

Half Splits Pose Benefits

  • Stretches and lengthens the hamstrings, groins, hip flexors
  • Opens the hips
  • Prepares you for the Full Splits Pose
  • Good for runners who tend to hold a lot of tension in the legs

How To Do The Half Splits Pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Begin in a Low Lunge Pose with your right foot forward and your left knee on the mat.

2. Shift your hips backwards, straightening your front leg whilst keeping a micro bend, and bending your back leg.

3. Flex your right foot, engaging all five toes, and rest your hands on the mat directly underneath your shoulders. You can use blocks here to bring the earth to you.

4. Engage the quadricep in your front leg, lengthen the torso, and engage the abs.

5. Fold your upper body over your front leg for a deeper stretch.

Tips And Tricks:

  • Avoid rounding the spine in Half Split. Instead, hinge at the hips and lead with the chest.
  • If you experience any discomfort in the back knee, fold your yoga mat over or roll up a blanket for some extra padding and support.
  • Ensure that your hips stay parallel in this asana. There is a tendency for the hip in the side of your foreward leg to slide forwards. Stay conscious of this and draw the hip backwards.

Half Splits pose variation: Half Splits with blocks

a man wearing all black yoga clothes does hald splits pose with blocks

Use blocks in Half Splits Pose to bring the earth to you.

Precautions & contraindications:

Hamstring, Groin, Or Low Back Injury:

This asana puts a lot of pressure on these areas, so if you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, don’t push it. Always remember to listen to your body.

Preparatory Poses

Head-To-Knee Pose

Seated Forward Fold

Crescent Lunge Pose

Counter Poses

Happy Baby Pose

Bridge Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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