Half Circle

ardha mandalasana

Level: Beginner

Instructions

1. From a kneeling position, with the knees hip width apart, step the right leg straight out to the side with the foot flat on the floor, toes facing forward.

2. Carefully lower the left hand to the floor, directly under the shoulder. Inhale the right arm up and over the head with the palm facing the floor.

3. Press the hips forward, arch the spine back, and let the head drop back.

4. Press the left foot into the floor and reach out through the left fingers, making a half circle shape with the left side of your body.

5. Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.

6. To release: Inhale the arms up parallel to the floor, then exhale the hands to the hips and step the foot back into a kneeling position.

7. Repeat on the other side.

 

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Half Circle pose opens and stretches the whole side of the body from foot to fingers. Half circle also opens the chest and the hips and stimulates the respiratory and nervous systems.

Contraindications: Hernia, recent or chronic arm, shoulder, knee or hip injury or inflammation.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Place folded blanket under the bent knee.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: Table, Child, Hero, Camel, Gate.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Gate, Camel, Hero, Rabbit, Puppy Dog.

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