1. From a low lunge position with the right foot forward, slide the right foot as forward to straighten the leg as you support yourself with the hands on the floor. Slide the left foot back to lower the hips as close to the floor as comfortable.
2. Keep the hands on the floor to support you as you move as deeply into the pose as possible. Then press the hands or fingertips down into the floor to lift up out of the waist reaching the crown of the head towards the ceiling. Let the shoulders relax down and back and lightly press the chest forward.
3. To take the pose further, carefully bring the hands together in front of the heart into Anjali Mudra, or bring the arms out to the sides with the palms down or overhead with the the palms together.
4. Breathe and hold for 2-6 breaths.
5. To release: press the hands to the floor, lean forward and carefully slide the front foot towards you to come back into a low lunge.
6. Repeat on other side.
Benefits + Contraindications
Benefits: Seated splits deeply opens the hips, stretches the the legs and opens the heart center to increase devotion, faith and trust. This advanced pose regulates the reproductive system and abdominal organs.
Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, legs or knees.
Modifications + Variations
Modifications: A) Place folded blankets under the back knee and front heel. B) Place yoga blocks under your hands.
Variations: In the full pose, bend forward over the front leg to hold onto the front foot.