Half Splits Pose - Ardha Hanumanasana
Half Splits Pose, Half Monkey Pose or Ardha Hanumanasana in Sanskrit, is a preparatory pose for Front Splits Pose (Hanumanasana), and can also be practiced to open the hips and lengthen the hamstrings. The practice of Half Splits Yoga Pose (Ardha Hanumanasana) 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 in the piriformis muscles.
- Difficulty: Beginners
- By Type: Flexibility Yoga Poses
- Body Position: Forward Bend Yoga Poses
Benefits and Contraindications
Stretches the hamstrings, quads, groins and hip flexors
Strengthens the core muscles
Can help to prevent lower body injury
Prepares body for the full pose of Hanumanasana (Splits Pose)
Hamstring, groin, low back injury
Photo poses in different angles
Props and 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.
Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits Pose) is a yoga asana that stretches the hamstrings and the calves, and can also help to improve flexibility in the hips and lower back.
- Hamstrings: The hamstrings are a group of three muscles that run along the back of the thigh. They are the primary muscles targeted in Ardha Hanumanasana. As you fold forward and extend your leg, the hamstrings lengthen and stretch.
- Calves: The two major muscles of the calves, the gastrocnemius and soleus, are also stretched in this pose. These muscles work to extend the ankle and flex the knee, and they are often tight from daily activities like walking and running.
- Glutes: The glutes, or buttock muscles, are also involved in Ardha Hanumanasana. As you fold forward, the glutes contract to support the pelvis and keep the hips stable.
- Quadriceps: The quadriceps are a group of four muscles that run along the front of the thigh. These muscles work to extend the knee and are engaged as you lift your leg and extend it in Ardha Hanumanasana.
- Lower back: The lower back muscles are also involved in this pose, as they work to stabilize the spine and help maintain the correct alignment of the hips.
- Hips: Ardha Hanumanasana can help to improve flexibility in the hips, which are important for many movements in daily life. The hip flexors, which are located at the front of the hips, are stretched as you extend your back leg.
- Core: The core muscles, including the abdominals and obliques, are engaged in this pose to support the spine and maintain good posture.
As with any yoga pose, it’s important to listen to your body and work within your limits. Always warm up before attempting any stretches, and stop if you feel any pain or discomfort.
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- Half Splits With Blocks
- Half Splits Pose With Wheel
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- Revolved Half Splits Pose
- Splits Pose
Top Preparatory Poses
- Triangle Pose
- High Lunge Pose
- Pyramid Pose
- Extended Side Angle Pose