Instructor: Sarah N.
Sarah has completed an intensive yoga teacher training program in Pune, India at the BKS Iyengar Yoga Institute. She has been inspired to continue practicing yoga for life.

Half Frog Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Half Frog Pose (Ardha Bhekasana) is a backbend that works on the knees, ankles, shoulders, chest and thighs all at the same time.

Step by Step Pose Information Benefits

Ardha Bhekasana

(Pronounced as "are-dah BAY-KAHS-anna")

The Sanskrit word ardha means "half" and bheka means "frog."

How to do Half Frog Pose

Step One

Lie down on your stomach on the yoga mat. Stretch your arms back so that the top of your hands and arms rest against the mat. Your chin rests on the floor.

Step Two

Bend your right knee, lifting the sole of your right foot up so that you can easily grab the bottom of the right foot in the palm of your right hand. Position your right hand so that the fingers point down to the floor. Now as you hold your foot, lift up your bent elbow as high as you can and grab the top of your right foot. If you have the flexibility, try to press the middle of your palm down on top of your toes. Keep your fingers pointing down and curling around your toes. If pressing your toes down with your palm is difficult for you, then it's enough to grab your big toe and try to push that down with your palm.

Step Three

Take a breath. Now as you exhale, lift up your head and shoulders. Tuck in your tailbone as your arch your upper back. Look up as you lift your torso off the floor so that only your ribs remain on the mat.

Step Four

Push your foot down closer to the floor, which will help you keep your chest lifting and expanding. The inside edge of your right foot should brush against the outside of your right hip. Your left leg stays straight while lying on the ground. Keep your right knee behind you and not far from the left knee. Only the right foot comes slightly out to the side as you push your right foot down.

Step Five

Once you have a greater range of flexibility, you can eventually push your foot down all the way to touch the floor. The full posture is pushing both feet down at the same time. Do not force this stretch if you feel pain in your knees. Stretch only as far as you can before feeling pain.

Hold it for 30 seconds and repeat the posture on the other side for 30 seconds also.

Beginner's Tip:

Help train your torso to lift up by putting a bolster underneath you so that only your abdomen and the fronts of your hip bones press into the bolster. You can rest your free arm straight in front of you on the mat.

Half Frog Pose Information

Sanskrit Name:

Ardha Bhekasana

Pose Level:

Level 2

Contraindications and Cautions:

  • Heart conditions
  • Arthritis in the knees
  • For women during menstruation: Do not practice this pose.
  • For pregnancy: It is best not to perform this posture. Instead, sit up straight in Virasana, which is a milder, similar alternative pose.
  • For those with gout, arthritis in the ankles or spinal disorders: Practice this posture under the supervision of an experienced yoga teacher.
  • Recent injuries in your lower back, neck or shoulders

Half Frog Pose Benefits

  • Stretches out the hips, abdomen, thighs and groins
  • Tones muscles in the lower back
  • Releases tension in the heels, especially pain caused by heel spurs
  • Helps to reverse flat feet
  • Builds ankle strength
  • Eases pain in the knee joints from rheumatism and helps to properly realign the knees
  • Promotes circulation to your abdominal organs

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