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.
Begin in a Crescent Low Lunge Pose with your right foot forward and your left knee on the mat.
Straighten your right leg and flex your foot. Make sure that your back knee is underneath your hip. Press your right heel into the earth and isometrically drag it toward the back of your mat.
Try to get the hips even and square to the short edge of your mat.
Place your hands on the mat on either side of your right foot. Keep your torso parallel to the ground. Lengthen the spine and keep it in one line with the crown of the head. Gaze down.
Take a couple of breaths and, bending your arms, try to lean forward even more so that your torso touches your right leg.
Take a few more breaths, then repeat on the other leg.
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.
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.