Standing Half Forward Bend Pose (Ardha Uttanasana)

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Standing Half Forward Bend Pose, Ardha Uttanasana (are-dah oot-tan-AHS-anna)

ardha (half) + uttana (intense stretch) + āsana (pose)

Also known as: Upward Forward Fold, Urdhva Uttanasana, Half Standing Forward Bend, Halfway Lift

Pose Type: Standing, Stretching, Inversions

Difficulty: Beginner

standing half forward bend Ardha Uttanasana.

Pause and find length in the spine before making your way into a forward fold.

Standing Half Forward Bend Pose Fundamentals

This pose makes a regular appearance in Vinyasa flows, and is found in the Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskara) A and B.

This pose helps to integrate breath into your practice. Flow upwards on your inhale, and fold downwards on your exhale.

Make the Half Forward Bend Pose your own. The focus of this pose would be finding length in your spine, not touching the floor. For you, this may mean bringing your hands to your shins, your knees, or your thighs instead of to the ground.

Find the flat back position that serves you.

Standing Half Forward Bend Pose benefits

  • Stretches the hips, calves and hamstrings

How To Do The standing Half Forward Bend Pose: Step-By-Step

1. From Standing Forward Bend Pose, press your fingertips or palms down into the earth beside your feet.

2. On an inhale, straighten your elbows and lengthen your torso away from your legs, finding length in the spine whilst keeping your fingers rooted down.

3. Create a gentle arch in the spine by gazing slightly forward without compressing the back of your neck.

annotated image of a woman doing yoga's standing half forward bend

standing half forward bend variations

Difficulty: Beginner

  • standing half forward bend Ardha Uttanasana. variation 1
  • standing half forward bend Ardha Uttanasana. variation 2 1
  • standing half forward bend Ardha Uttanasana variation 1

The above Standing Half Forward Bend Variations are a great and equally valid alternative to the Standing Half Forward Bend Pose.

You are invited to place your hands on your shins, thighs, or even on blocks if that feels good to you.

Bend your knees if the stretch in your hamstrings feels too intense.

Standing Forward Bend

Preparatory Poses:

Mountain Pose

Seated Forward Bend

Counter Poses:

Downward Facing Dog

Chair 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.

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

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