Halfway Lift What Have You Done for Me Lately
I spent the longest time breezing though Halfway Lift – Ardha Uttanasana. Surely this pose was simply a way to get us up from forward fold without getting dizzy? It just didn’t seem to do very much. How we all yearn to feel like we’ve progressed and are accomplished it’s only natural. How can we feel accomplished in Halfway Lift? – what has Halfway Lift done for you lately?
If only I’d had good access to a beginners yoga class. This experience gave me a love of introducing people beginning their yoga journey to these sorts of poses.
It’s my mission to help you connect to the way your body feels in common poses and suggest what you might be getting from them. It’s all part of connecting your mind and your body – so you can play with the pose and notice how it feels different every day. So what’s the purpose behind Halfway Lift?
Halfway Lift’s translation from Sanskrit is ‘half intense stretch pose’
What does that suggest to you? I take it to mean ‘engagement’ – with small, micro movements. It’s almost cerebral – it’s a winner for mind body connection.
You’re stretching your legs – front and back.
You’re engaging your core, you’re lengthening your spine.
But you are doing this with a small, adjustments!
✔︎ In Halfway Lift, reach the crown of your head forward.
✔︎ Play with feeling like there’s a thread linking the crown of your head to the facing wall. Feel your spine lengthen as the cord becomes taught.
You’ll find this gives you extension in your spine and your neck. Mark Stephens writes about Halfway Lift:
✔︎Emphasize lengthening the spine, drawing the shoulder blades down the back, and further expanding across the heart center.
✔︎This helps you to root into the ground with your feet as you extend your hamstrings.
✔︎That in turn helps you keep your legs vertical – there can can be a tendency to shift your hips back during Forward Fold and Halfway Lift.
How to Define Success
This can be baffling and overwhelmingly tiny little adjustments. It is the deepest challenge – but is it currently how do you challenge yourself in your yoga practice.
I have naturally good balance – and I love balancing poses because I feel like I can do them well. You probably have something similar, and it’s an important feeling, especially considering we often think we are rubbish at yoga – and perhaps at life in general. It’s important to feel like you’re improving and being successful.
You often hear that yoga is not a competition. But in group classes it can be hard to keep sight of that and sometimes we’re fuzzy about what that phrase ‘it’s not a competition’ even means.
Lets think about success in yoga as feeling the connection between your mind and your body – so that you can play with the less flashy poses and feel like you are getting benefits.
In fact the challenge can be greatest in the poses where the process is more internal, or where we struggle – like Halfway Lift. This can be where we most grow – not in the poses that come easily. What sort of yoga journey are you after today?
Want to see these Halfway Lift cues in action?
My free video guides you through these steps to get the most from Halfway Lift .
Sometimes using props can help you experience the pose so you get the full benefit. I’ve written a couple of blogs on this: