Ardha Uttanasana is a great pose to start a practice with and also a great half way step when coming up from a forward fold to a standing position. As doing this pose helps to elongate the spine and which will help bring length to the spine in other poses. This pose will also help bring back the posture any time it may go array during the practice.
How to Practice
Once you are in the forward fold inhale coming up half way to lengthen the spine. Make sure that your core is contracted and working to come up. Try looking forward in this pose or having the neck neutral and feeling the energy rise from the tail bone through the crown of the head. This works best if you leave your finger tips on the ground. Exhale either folding forward again, or placing your hands on your hips. Inhale come all the way up to a standing position.
If you are not reaching the ground when forward folding, you can bring your hands to your thighs as you inhale to come up half way. If you are doing this I recommend that instead of folding forward bringing the hands to the hips before inhaling again to come all the way up to the standing.
As I said before this pose is great to keep the posture for yoga poses. You can add this pose, or technique for any forward fold including Parsvottanasana or Pyramid Pose.
There are not many counter poses for this pose, as this is a very simple yoga pose. Working it dynamically will also help to open up the forward fold for anyone having trouble reaching the earth.