|Ardha Baddha Padma Paschimottanasana|
The half-lotus position of the top leg releases the internal rotators of the hip as the heel applies pressure to the abdomen, massaging the vital organs with the breath. The binding of the arm opens the chest and shoulder, encouraging a feeling of extension and spaciousness in this forward bend rather than rounding or curling inward.
Care must be taken to protect the knees. Always use caution when folding the legs to a lotus or half-lotus position with special awareness on sensation at the joints. The effects of this posture should be felt at the hips and not in the knees or ankles. If discomfort is felt at the joints, practice a preparatory posture or modification instead. Stay for 5-10 breaths in your fullest expression and then repeat on the opposite side.