Keep Your Spine Healthy with Ardha Mandalasana
Ardha mandalasana, which is also known as Half circle pose, is a great way to practice side flexion. Side flexion doesn’t show up very often in a day, but it’s crucial to maintain spinal health. In order to ensure that your back and other core muscles stay strong, practice this yoga pose. Here’s how to safely practice Ardha Mandalasana.
- Practice ujjayi breathing throughout.
- Begin on your knees, with your knees directly below your SITs bones.
- Send energy down through your knees as you lift through the top of your head.
- Broaden your collarbones.
- Draw your belly button toward your spine.
- Extend your left leg straight so that the arch of your left foot is in line with your right knee. Make sure that your toes are pointing forward and that the outside edge of your foot is sealed to the mat.
- Inhale to lift your ribs away from your hips.
- Exhale to bend to the right side. As you bend, feel your rib cage arch to the side as your belly button draws deeper and deeper toward your spine.
- Plant your right hand under your shoulder. You hand can be flat, on fingertips, or on a yoga block.
- Reach your left hand toward the ceiling. It should be as if your arms are a straight line, reaching through your body.
- In some versions of this pose, you can round your left elbow and turn your palm to face the floor. This creates more of a “half-circle” image.
- Turn your head to look up at your left hand (or the inside of your left arm if your arm is rounded).
- Hold for 5-8 breaths.
- To come out of this pose, lower your left arm by your side and engage your core muscles to help lift your torso back to center.
- Don’t forget to switch sides!
Ardha Mandalasana Video
Here is a video for visual learners.
What do you think of this gentle side bend? Let us know in the comments below.
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