Ardha means half. Mandala means ring or circle and is a geometric pattern that represents the Cosmos metaphysically or symbolically. A Mandala is often seen as a microcosm of the universe. The source of its cosmic power is located at the center while deities representing lesser powers or energies radiate out toward the periphery. There are also simpler mandalas that are instead a series of concentric circles within a square. Each successive concentric circle closer to the center of this figure represents a deeper layer of the psyche. The figure in the centre is also the centre of integration.
Benefits of Ardha Mandalasana
- Opens the lower ribs, facilitating deeper breathing.
- Activates the thymus gland, stimulating the immune system.
- Integrates the solar and lunar aspects of our being.
- This pose should be avoided by people suffering from knee pain or injury.
- Begin kneeling and place a bolster at your side. Engage the Bandhas to activate the muscles in the core of your body.
- Stretch the left leg out to the side and bring the sole of your foot flat.
- Place your right hand on on the earth in line with your knees.
- Create a stable base of support with your hand by spreading your fingers.
- Feel as though your body is sliding between two panes of glass.
- Lift your left arm overhead, bringing it on the same angle as your torso and extended leg.
- Activate your extended leg. Hug the muscles to the bones.
- Keep your pelvis stable and neutral.
- Make circles with your lifted arm. Visualize a mandala as you create this circular movement with your arm.
- Feel space across the front and the back side of the shoulders.
- Lift up through the fingertips of your top arm, using your oblique abdominals (to come out of the pose).