Standing Split

Here’s my latest article for the Stanly News and Press:

Since I have been writing this article for a while, I thought it was time to offer you a more advanced asana, but if you are a beginner, you may want to wait to give this one a try.

Standing Split Pose, or Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana, is beneficial to the body by improving flexibility and balance together.  Practicing this posture will open up the hamstrings, hip flexors and quadriceps while strengthening the standing leg, foot, ankle and abdominals.

Be sure that your body is very warm before you come into this pose.  Splits preps and Crescent lunges are great preparations for Standing Splits.  You can move into this pose in a number of different ways, so experiment and see what works best for you.

One way to begin is in Downward Facing Dog.  Lift your right leg as you open your hip into a nice, high Three Point Downdog.  From there, walk your hands as close to your left foot as you can, keeping your left leg straight.  If you cannot reach the floor with your standing leg straight, place blocks beneath both of your hands to bring the floor closer to you.

Feel as if you are lifting the ball of your right foot up toward the ceiling while letting your toes fan down so your foot is very active.  Using your abdominal muscles, fold your torso down over your left leg as deeply as you can

A great variation is with the instep of you right foot up on a wall to help you feel more grounded and stable and possibly deeper in the pose.  If you would like to challenge your balance even more, look directly under your nose on the floor and take one hand or both around the ankle in Supreme Balance.

Hold the posture for five to seven breaths and then walk the hands back out to Three Point Downdog.  Repeat on the left side so you create balance on the sides of the body.

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