Half Circle Pose or Ardha Mandalasana (ard-hah Man-d-al-ah-sah-nah) is a yoga posture that involves standing on one leg while lifting the other leg and bending it to create a half circle shape.
Ardha Mandalasana is an accessible side stretching posture. The name comes from the Sanskrit, ardha, meaning “half,” mandala, meaning “circle,” and asana, meaning “pose.” The name refers to the semi-circular shape formed by the leg, torso and arm in the posture.
In Ardha Mandalasana, the left leg is in a kneeling position while the right extends to the side with the foot grounded and toes facing forward. The left hand touches the ground to the left and the right arm reaches up and over the head, with the palm turned toward the ground.
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.
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.
Press the hips forward, arch the spine back, and let the head drop back.
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.
Breathe and hold for 3-8 breaths.
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.
Repeat on the other side.
Benefits and Contraindications
Stimulates the respiratory system
Opens the hips
Activates the thymus gland, which boosts the immune system
Soothes the nervous system
Surgery in the hip, knee, shoulder, neck, or lower back
Injury or swelling in the foot
Photo poses in different angles
Modifications and Props for Beginners
Use a wall or chair for balance: If you’re having trouble balancing on one leg, use a wall or chair for support. Stand facing the wall or chair and place your hand on it while you lift your other leg and bend it to create the half circle shape.
Use a strap: If you’re having trouble reaching your foot with your hand, use a strap to help you. Place the strap around the arch of your foot and hold onto the strap with your hand.
Use a block: If you’re having trouble reaching the ground with your hand, use a block to bring the ground closer to you. Place the block next to your foot and rest your hand on the block.
To help you balance in this posture, engage your core muscles. Draw your navel towards your spine and lengthen your torso.
To help you balance in this posture, keep your standing leg strong. Press down through your foot and activate your leg muscles.
Remember to listen to your body and honor your limitations.
Work within your range of motion and only go as far as feels comfortable for your body.
Breathe deeply: As with any yoga posture, remember to breathe deeply and evenly. Inhale as you lift your leg and exhale as you bend it into the half circle shape.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Half Circle Pose suitable for beginners?
Half Circle Pose is generally considered a beginner-level yoga pose, but it can still be challenging for some people. It’s important to work up to the pose gradually and practice under the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher. Don’t forget to use props if needed.
Are there any precautions I should take before attempting Half Circle Pose?
If you have any injuries or medical conditions, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional before attempting Half Circle Pose. You should also avoid the pose if you have low blood pressure or vertigo.
How long should I hold Half Circle Pose?
You can start by holding Half Circle Pose for a few breaths and gradually work up to holding the pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Remember to listen to your body and take breaks as needed.
A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it.
In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings.
After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva.
To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics.
Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga.
At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.