Standing split Sanskrit Name ~ Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana
Standing Split Step by Step
Step one Move into Warrior II Pose, with your right foot forward. On an inhale, windmill your left arm up and over your head, opening around your ribcage.
Step two With an exhale, turn your torso to the right, pivoting on the ball of the left foot and lifting the heel off the floor. Then lean forward, laying your trunk onto the right thigh. Cup your hands and place them on the floor, up on fingertips, either side of the right foot. If your fingertips don't rest comfortably on the floor, support each one on a block.
Step three Walk your hands slightly in front of the right foot and slowly shift your weight over it. Inhale and slowly move your right leg towards straight. At the same time, lift the left leg parallel to the floor.
Step four Your left leg and hip will tend to externally rotate slightly, lifting the hip away from the floor and angling the pelvis to the right. Try to keep the front of the pelvis parallel to the floor by internally rotating the left thigh.
Step five Pay close attention to the standing leg, especially the angle of the knee. The knee will tend to rotate inwardly. Be sure to rotate the thigh out and turn the knee so the kneecap faces straight ahead.
Step six Feel how the downward grounding through the standing leg generates an upward lift in the raised leg. Don't focus on how high your raised leg goes - instead, work toward directing equal lines of expression through both legs. You can hold the raised leg more or less parallel to the floor, or try to raise it slightly higher. See if you can allow the trunk to descend as the raised leg ascends. If you're flexible you might like to grasp the back of the standing-leg ankle with your hand.
Step seven Hold for thirty seconds to a minute. Or three to five deep settling breaths. Then, lower the raised leg with an exhale and repeat on the other side for the same length of time.
Cautions Take extra care if you have: A lower back injury An ankle or knee injury High bloodpressure Glaucoma Go gently, or sit out the pose
Preparatory Poses Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend) Padangusthasana (Big Toe Pose) Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Leg Forward Fold) Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog) Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Pose) Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Fold) Supta Padangustasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
Follow-up Poses Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
Beginner's Tip Support the lifted leg by pressing the raised foot against a wall or hooking its front ankle over the top edge of a chair back.
Benefits Calms the mind Stimulates the abdominal organs Works and releases the gluteus muscles Strengthens the supporting leg Opens the groin Refines your balance
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