Primary Series (Yoga Chikitsa)

ardha baddha padma paschimottansana
अर्ध बद्ध पद्म पश्चिमोत्तान्सन

bound, knitted
paścimaadjectiveafter, back, the last, westward
āsanasubstantive neuterseat, posture

Special Note: This pose establishes a sequence of movements, Vinyāsa-count. It remains the same for the next seven sequences of movement. If you can memorize this Vinyāsa-count, you can use it all the way up to Marīcyāsana B.

Directly from downward dog in the previous sequence of movements.

Vinyāsa 7: Inhale, Exhale, Inhale:
Inhale from downward dog as you slide your legs through and balance on your hands. Exhale and lower yourself down slowly between your arms. Place your right leg directly in half lotus while you extend your left leg forward. Inhale your right hand behind your back and grab your right foot. Your hand will find a hold on the instep from the big toe side. Grip the outer edge of the left foot with your left arm straight. Complete the inhale as you stretch the torso upwards. 

Note: Before you place your foot in half-lotus, bend your knee completely so that the calf presses against the thigh and consequently stabilizes the knee joint. Now, rotate outwards from the hip joint until the front of the thigh points diagonally outwards, so that your heel could eventually touch the navel. From here you can tuck your foot into the fold of the groin. The back of the foot should continue in a straight line to the shin. It is important that the majority of the rotation comes from the hip and not from knee or ankle. 

Vinyāsa 8: Exhale, 5 breaths:
Exhale and tip forward from the pelvis, bending forward while bending your left elbow to the side. Stay here until the fifth exhalation. 

Try this: With a little practice, your chin can meet the shin. You can look up through the crown of the lead to the left toe.

Vinyāsa9: Inhale, Exhale:
Inhale and stretch your left arm and lift your torso long. Exhale and stay here. 

Vinyāsa 10 to 13:
Follow the flow of movements you already know until downward facing dog. 

Vinyāsa 14 to 20:
Repeat the sequence of movements on the second side and continue through until you reach downward facing dog again. 

In the traditional count, change here directly into the flow of movements leading to the next posture.

Effect: Ardha Baddha Padma Paścimottānāsana stretches the back body and at the same time develops the external rotation of the hip joint. The heel presses into the lower left abdomen on the first side and the lower right abdomen on the second side. As a result the descending and ascending colon are both massaged respectively. The pose has a harmonizing effect on digestion. 

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