Standing Splits

urdhva prasarita eka padasana

Level: Intermediate

[am4show have=’p1;p2;p4;’ guest_error=’Premo’ user_error=’Upgrade’ ]

Instructions

1. From High Lunge pose with left knee bent, step forward and lift the right leg up while straightening both legs.

2. Place the right palm flat to the floor and hold onto the back of the left ankle with the left hand. Look down or behind you at a point on the floor.

3. Use the arms to gently pull the torso and head into the left leg. Keep the legs straight and strong with the right toes reaching up.

4. Breathe and hold for 2-4 breaths.

5. To release: exhale the foot down into Standing Forward Fold, or step back into High Lunge.

6. Repeat on the other side.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Standing splits stretches the hips and legs, improves balance, focus and concentration and strengthens the legs.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the legs, hips, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Variations: A) Have the hands wide apart on the floor for more stability, or B) have both hands holding the back of the ankle for more challenge.

Vinyasa

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: High Lunge, Half Moon, Dancer, Warrior III.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: High Lunge, Forward Fold. [/am4show]

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