Half Splits Pose

Half Monkey Pose

Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits Pose) is a preparatory pose for Hanumanasana (Front Splits Pose), and can also be practiced to open the hips and lengthen the hamstrings.

The practice of Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits Pose) can be part of beginner yoga sequences for students who have tight hips, lower back, hamstrings, psoas muscles, and IT band. With the gentle stretch and forward bend this pose can also help with reducing tightness with piriformis muscles.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Start by kneeling on the floor with the thighs, knees, shins, ankles, and feet are hip distance apart. Tops of the feet lay flat on the earth.
Step 2
Lengthen the right leg out in front of you with the heel on the ground and the toes flexing towards your face.
Step 3
Lean the torso slightly forward and press the fingertips into the earth. *Modifications: Use two blocks on either side of your right leg. This will help to keep your spine lengthening while your hamstrings naturally open up.
Step 4
Straighten the right leg without locking out the knee. Gently start to slide the right heel forward. Rotate the right inner thigh towards the earth so that the kneecap faces the sky. Slide the left leg back slightly so there is no pressure on the kneecap but rather the weight is at the top of the knee.
Step 5
Try to get the hips even and square to the short edge of your mat.
Step 6
If this is not too strenuous bring the torso perpendicular to the ground. Lengthen the spine and the crown of the head towards the sky.
Step 7
Soften the gaze towards the horizon.
Step 8
To get out of Half Monkey Pose, press the hands into the floor and slowly draw the right heel back. Come back to the initial kneeling position. Repeat with opposite leg in front

Pose Detail

Benefits and Contraindications

Benefits

Stretches the hamstrings, quads, groins and hip flexors

Strengthens the core muscles

Can help to prevent lower body injury

Contraindications

Hamstring, groin, low back injury

Photo poses in different angles

Tips

Rather than rounding the spine and curling the shoulders in an effort to bring the torso closer to the extended leg, focus on finding the stretch in the hamstring by lengthening the spine and reaching the chest forward toward the toes.

If it feels challenging to have the hands down on the ground, try walking the hands closer toward your body, or elevating the hands on blocks, which will decrease the intensity of the stretch.

Often, the hip on the straight leg side will pull forward and the hip on the bent knee side will pull back. As you hold this pose, bring your attention into your hips, and find the action of drawing the hip on the straight leg side back, and the hip on the bent knee side forward until the hips are square.

If there is any discomfort in the back knee, try folding the long edge of your mat over or tucking a blanket or towel under the knee for added support.

Modifications & Variations
  • Splits Pose
  • Low Lunge Back Leg Raised Splits Pose Prep
  • Splits Pose Hands Blocks Front Leg Wheel
  • Monkey Pose Forward Bend Bound Hands
  • Monkey Pose Forward Bend
  • Standing Splits Variation
  • Revolved Half Splits Pose Variation
  • Half Splits Pose Airplane Arms
  • Half Splits Pose Wheel
  • Revolved Half Splits Pose
  • Standing Splits Pose Aerial
Top Preparatory Poses
  • Low Lunge Pose
  • Crescent Low Lunge Pose Variation Knee On Floor
  • Lunge Pose Hands To Knee
Top Follow-Up Poses
  • Downward Facing Dong Pose
  • Low Lunge Pose
  • Splits Pose

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana has been actively practicing yoga for 5 years. In addition to practice, she studies various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.