Two of the most recurrent postures in Yoga sessions are the middle clamp and the standing clamp (ardha uttanasana and uttanasana in Sanskrit). These are two simple postures that help us to work with flexibility, hip mobility and stretching our entire posterior chain.
Since they are postures that require good flexibility, we can make use of different elements, such as blocks of wood or foam, to perform the regressions and thus progressing until we can perform the asanas perfectly. We explain how to do the posture of the clamp and the half Yoga clamp.
The half-clamp of Yoga or ardha uttanasana
Literally, ardha uttanasana means “half extension”, and that is exactly what we will do in this posture in which we stretch the back of our legs, the buttocks, the muscles of the back and shoulders.
We start from the standing position, with your feet together if you already have enough flexibility or slightly separated if you still have to work it. From that position, bend your trunk forward with your back well elongated (stretched but maintaining the natural curves of it), as if you wanted to reach far with your head, and support the palms of the hands on the ground. From there, raise your head and your torso to look forward.
If you do not have enough flexibility to reach with your hands on the ground, you can use blocks of wood or foam and put your hands on them. Place them first in the position that is higher and, depending on how you are working your flexibility, put them on edge and then lie down, until you can reach the ground by yourself.
You can also start by simply stretching forward and resting your hands on the back of a chair and then going down.
The standing caliper or uttanasana
The standing caliper is the logical progression to the previous position. It demands more flexibility and body control, so we can do it once we have mastered the middle clamp.
The starting position is the same: standing with your feet together or slightly separated and parallel. We breathe deeply and, releasing the air, we flex our hips and we direct our torso forward until it forms an angle of 90 degrees. We return to inspire and, when releasing the air again, we go down to the ground resting the palms of our hands next to our feet or grasping the ankles. The head sinks in the knees and the crown is directed towards the ground.
This position allows us to perform an elongation of the back while we relax, and also helps us fight anxiety. As before, if we do not reach the ground we can use the blocks of Yoga to facilitate the stretching and keep working on our flexibility.
These two positions are used very frequently in Yoga sessions, so we are interested in knowing them and executing them correctly. If at first you do not reach the ground, do not despair: practice makes perfect. Work a little each day to improve your flexibility.