Standing Half Forward Bend Pose - Ardha Uttanasana

Upward Forward Fold Pose (front) - Iana Varshavska


Standing Half Forward Bend Pose, Upward Forward Fold Pose, or Ardha Uttanasana in Sanskrit (‘Ardha’ means ‘half’, ‘Uttana’ means ‘intense stretch’, and ‘asana’ means ‘posture’) is a beginner to intermediate yoga pose. In this yoga pose, the upper body is bent forward to the extent that it remains almost parallel to the floor. This is the half position between bending completely down and standing tall. Therefore, this pose makes it easier for the practitioner to achieve the deep stretch that enhances the range of body movements.

Pose Detail

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in a standing forward bend (uttanasana).
Step 2
Inhale to reach your chest forward, lengthening the sides of your torso.
Step 3
Place your fingertips on the ground, or hands to shins.
Step 4
Bring your gaze to the ground in front of you, neck in neutral alignment.
Step 5
Hold the lifted pose for a couple breaths before exhaling back to forward fold.

Benefits and Contraindications


Stretches the front torso

Strengthens the back and improves posture

Stimulates the belly


With any neck injury, don't lift the head to look forward; otherwise same as those of Uttanasana

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Tips

  • With Half Forward Fold the key is to strive for a long and straight spine.
  • Keep the core engaged to protect the lower back and prevent arching.
  • You could always bend your knees to your level of comfort.
  • There is also a tendency to become passive in this pose. Maintain active legs and core and keep energetically reaching through the crown of your head.
  • Don’t lift the head if you have neck injuries, keep your gaze to the floor or just slightly ahead.


  • For Beginners or those with tight hips or hamstrings, you can try warming up using a foam roller first.
  • You can also bend your knees and place your hands on blocks to start with. Do not forget, that lengthening the spine is your main focus in the pose.
  • To experience the extension of the spine, try the pose with your hands flat against a wall (or a chair) in front of you, upper body parallel to the floor.


  • Standing Half Forward Bend with knees bent
  • Standing Half Forward Bend with blocks
  • Standing Half Forward Bend with a chair
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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.