Based off of the name of this pose, one might think they would need to hop around like a frog when performing this pose. However, that’s not the case.
Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana)
The Half Frog Pose isn’t like your ordinary backbend; this specific pose opens up your chest, thighs, and shoulders simultaneously, and is different from the initial frog pose (Bhekasana) by requiring you to bend one leg as opposed to two.
Translated from Ardha Bhekasana from Sanskrit to half frog pose in English, “Ardha” means half and “Bheka” means frog.
Half Frog Pose Directions:
The following steps will help you master the technique of performing the half frog pose:
- Start by lying on your belly and press your forearms to the floor with your head and upper torso lifted.
- Bend your right knee and bring your heel as close to your torso as possible.
- Supporting yourself with your left forearm, reach your right hand back and clasp the inside of your foot while slowly rotating your right elbow toward the ceiling.
- Slide your fingers of your right over the top of the foot and curl them over the toes. The base of your palm should be pressing the top of the foot.
- Once in this position, gently try to press your right foot down on the mat or as far as you can go, and hold this position for 30 seconds.
- Slowly release your hand and bring your foot back to the floor and rest for a few seconds.
- Repeat this pose on the other side.
Half Frog Pose Variations:
This particular pose is important for stretching your leg, thigh, and back muscles. Performing this pose can be quite challenging for those who are struggling with lower back issues, there try this pose by placing a pillow under you to relieve you of any discomfort in your lower back.
- Use a pillow to support your chest and head, by placing it on the long side of the mat and rest your upper torso on the pillow. Gently place one side of your face on it the pillow
- While resting the right side of the face on the pillow, bend the left knee and bring it close to your stomach and flex the hips while the knee is placed on the floor.
Benefits of Half Frog Pose:
Ardha Bhekasana is one of the many variations of the Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana). This pose helps to open up your chest and stretch your entire upper body.
The half frog pose is particularly beneficial for women because it increases blood flow to the uterus and ovaries and thus, prevent and relieve problems related to the uterus.
Added benefits of practicing the half frog pose include:
- Stretches your hip and thigh muscles
- Strengthens and improves the flexibility of your back
- Increases your energy levels
- Prepares you for deeper backbends
Half Frog Pose Do’s and Don’ts:
When practicing any pose, it’s always best to make sure you are completely relaxed and comfortable during your session.
Do modify Ardha Bhekasana if you have any lower back issues by placing a pillow or bolster underneath your knees.
Do your best to remain relaxed. You should never feel tight or stiff in this pose.
Don’t strain, this pose is about relaxation. Doing so will add stress to your back and other parts of your body.
Half Frog Pose Follow-Up Poses:
Practicing Ardha Bhekasana (half frog pose) is usually a preparatory pose for the more intermediate Frog Pose which requires you to bend both legs as opposed to one. Performing this pose stretches your hips, quads, back, and shoulders.
The following follow up poses can help you cool down after practicing Ardha Bhekasana (half frog pose):
- Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
- Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
Half Frog Pose Recap:
The half frog pose stretches your entire body starting from your throat and all the way down to your ankles. Practicing this pose has a plethora of health benefits that can help improve digestion and enhance your flexibility.
Although this pose ideal for beginners, it can take a while to fully master this the half frog pose. With consistent practice, you will be able to perform this pose in no time and reap all the health benefits that come with it.
1. How can one perform the half frog pose?
As mentioned in the article, starting from lying on your belly, the Frog Pose stretch will require you to bend and use your legs and hands to effectively perform this pose.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 05/22/2018