Yoga Poses

Half Bound Lotus Tiptoe pose /Ardha Baddha Padma Prapadasana

Steps

Half Bound Lotus Tiptoe pose is an advanced standing balance. This pose is the twelfth pose in the Bikram or hot yoga sequence. What is essential for this pose is that one requires strength in the toes and ankles as well as flexibility in the hips and knees.

To practice the Half Bound Lotus Tiptoe pose, begin in Mountain pose with the feet parallel and hip-width apart. Shift the weight to the right foot. Bend the left knee and lift the foot up onto the right hip crease to half lotus tree pose. Soften the right knee and fold forward from the hips, bring all ten fingertips to the ground.  Bend the right standing leg and come onto the ball of the right foot. Lower the hips down into a deep squat balancing the base of the tailbone onto the right heel.  You’re your balancing point. Take one hand at a time into prayer.  Take 3-5 yoga breaths.  To exit the pose, bring the fingertips back to the ground.  Lift the hips and straighten the right leg returning to half lotus standing forward bend.  Rise up to Mountain pose and release the bound leg. Repeat on the other side.

Teacher Queues

Visualization Comments

The key to this pose is the standing foot. Instead of sinking the hips and thigh onto the calf and standing foot, crouch on top of the standing foot, balancing but not leaning into the heel. Plant the ball of the foot into the ground and spread the toes. Keep heel and spine lifted. Imagine the ball of your foot is a springboard and that any moment you could spring upward.

Technical Comments

From Half lotus tree pose, allow the right knee to drop and the sole of the foot to face upward. Engage the abs and hinge slowly from the hips, releasing fingertips to the floor. Soften the right knee to fold deeper. Come onto the ball of the right foot and bend the right knee fully, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. The weight should be balanced on the ball of the right foot.  Allow left knee to relax towards but not touch the floor.  Find the balance point before bringing hands one at a time to prayer or mudra variation.  Keep eye gaze on the floor 3-4 feet in front of you.

Benefit Comments

  • Strengthens core muscles
  • Develops stronger joints – hips, knees, ankles
  • Improves balance and focus
  • Opens hips
  • Increases focus, concentration and balance

Watch Out For:

  • Tight hips and ankles (modify)
  • Knee pain (stop)

Contraindications

  • Hip, Knee and ankle injuries
  • Sciatica
  • Achilles heel injury

Modifications

  • Begin in chair pose, cross one leg ankle to knee, lower to squat, then bring hands into prayer
  • Practice tiptoe or chair with half lotus pose against the wall for support or holding onto blocks or chair
  • Practice tiptoe or chair with half lotus pose with block under tailbone
  • Place block or blanket under heel of standing foot

Variations

  • Reach one hand around back waist and hold lotus leg toe
  • Bring one foot to rest on knee instead of thigh
  • Place both toes on floor with soles of feet touching and knees pointing outward
  • Bring feet together, balance on balls of foot with buttocks on heels and hands over head

Yoga Counter Poses

  • Heroes pose (virasana)
  • Seated forward bend (Paschimottanasana)
  • Standing forward bend (Uttanasana)
  • Downward facing dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Written By: Brenda Hamlet

Brenda Hamlet is a RYT 200 yoga teacher and journalist. More information about Brenda can be found at https://www.facebook.com/brendahamletyoga

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