Ardha Uttanasana on Chair
Ardha Uttanasana is the half-standing forward bend. Place the hands on a chair seat and hold onto the sides of the chair seat without tension. As the hands ground into the chair, the arms stretch back into the shoulder sockets. The elbows firm and straighten (SEE FIGURE 9-28). Continue lengthening from the shoulders to the buttock bones. Press the shoulder blades into the back. The body is parallel to the floor, with the head between the arms. If the head is either lower or higher than the arms, the neck and head will be out of line with the rest of the spine. The crown of the head stretches forward as the tailbone lengthens back. The heels are directly under the hips and the feet are hip width (or wider) apart (depending upon the comfort of your hamstrings—tight hamstrings require a wider leg stance). The body is parallel to the floor.
Make sure that you are not pressing the shoulders or front ribs down in an effort to open the body. You want a long line of stretch from the fingertips to the buttock bones and from the buttock bones to the heels.
Broaden the lower back by spreading the buttock bones away from each other, letting the inner thighs hug the thighbones (away from each other). Pull the hips and the tops of the thighs back toward the middle of the room to create even more length in the spine. Feel the terrific space and length in the torso and the back of the legs. Stay for a few breaths and enjoy the space you have created in your body.
FIGURE 9-28: Ardha Uttanasana on Chair