Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In


Yoga Poses

Half Frog Pose

Ease up into Half Frog Pose, called Ardha Bhekasana in Sanskrit. This pose strengthens the back while gently opening up the shoulders, chest, and thighs—a loving treat for the entire body.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.

Half Frog Pose Basics

Sanskrit: Ardha Bhekasana

Pose type: Backbend

Targets: Full body

Pose benefits

Half Frog Pose stretches the front of thighs (quadriceps) and ankles, plus it gently strengthens your back.

Half Frog Pose: Step-by-Step Instructions

Video loading...
  1. Begin in Sphinx Pose, pressing down with all ten toenails, spinning your inner thighs to the ceiling, and firming your outer ankles into your midline.
  2. Keeping your left elbow in front of your left shoulder, move your hand so your fingers point toward your right wrist and your forearm is at a diagonal.
  3. Press down with your left forearm to roll your left shoulder back and up away from the floor.
  4. Extend your sternum away from your navel, and broaden your collarbones to lift and open your chest.
  5. Place your right hand next to your lower ribs with your fingers pointing forward and your shoulder at elbow height as in Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose).
  6. Bend your right knee, aiming your foot toward your right buttock; keep your right knee pinned into your midline.
  7. Keeping the Chaturanga shape, place your right hand on the top of your right foot with your fingers still pointing forward.
  8. Gently press down with your right hand while moving your right heel to the outside of your buttock.
  9. To deepen the stretch in your quadriceps, descend your tailbone and lift your right knee any amount.
  10. Continue to lift your chest and pin your left shoulder back and up.
  11. Hold for 5–10 breaths, then release. Repeat on the other side.

Beginner’s tip

There’s a common tendency to roll toward the straight leg, bringing the hip of the bent leg away from the floor. Make sure the tips of your pelvic crest are level and on the floor.


Half Frog Pose with a Strap

Photo: Andrew Clark; Clothing: Calia

If it is hard to reach your foot, use a looped strap to extend your reach.

Half Frog Pose on a chair

Neeti Narula practices a Half Frog Pose variation sitting in a chair
(Photo: Andrew Clark. Clothing: Calia )

You can get some of the benefits of Half Frog pose sitting in a chair. Bend one knee and bring your foot toward your hip, then reach down and hold it.

Half Frog Pose at a wall

Neeti Narula practices a Half Frog Pose variation. She is standing with one hand on a white wall and the other hand reaching back to grab her lifted foot
(Photo: Andrew Clark. Clothing: Calia)

The actions of Half Frog Pose can be practiced while standing. Lift your foot toward your glutes and reach back to hold it with one hand. If you practice near a wall, you can use it to assist with balance.

Preparatory Poses

Follow-up Poses