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How to Do a Halfway Lift in Yoga


Article by Hayley Hyer

Photography by Stock Images

Did you know that 'halfway lift' is an actual pose in yoga? It might seem like something we just do to work in an inhale, but it's actually so, so important. When you have been bending your spine in any of the six directions (side to side, forward and back, and twisting on both sides), a halfway lift helps pull your spine back into a straight line before you move on to another pose. This helps prevent any injuries.

For example, if you move from downward facing dog into a forward fold with your feet by your hands, it can be dangerous to shoot straight up to mountain pose from there. We add a halfway lift before going into mountain pose to realign your spine and make sure it is safe to proceed.

Here is how to do it correctly and reap the full benefits of the reset in your spine.

  • From a forward fold with your hands by your feet, lift your chest up so that it is parallel to your mat.
  • Straighten your legs, but keep a soft bend in your knees so your legs don't hyperextend.
  • Press your hands into either your shins or your quads, whichever is most accessible to you.
  • Look straight down at the floor and point the crown of your head forward.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together to create a completely flat back.
  • Engage your latissimus dorsi muscles to further straighten your spine.
  • Shift your bodyweight forward into your toes.
  • Pull your core up toward your spine.

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