Standing Split Yoga Pose
overview

Standing Split Yoga Pose is a standing, balance pose that targets the hamstrings and calves and is ideal for yogis and yoginis at an advanced level.

manipura – the wisdom chakra
related poses
How To Do Standing Split Yoga Pose
  1. Start in the Mountain Pose (Tadasana), hands on hips. Exhale, bending forward into Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana), then inhale and place your hands or fingertips in front of or next to your feet in the Standing Half Forward Bend (Ardha Uttanasana) position.
  2. Shifting your weight onto your right leg, lift your left leg off of the ground, bending the knee and pulling it up toward your chest. Then extend the leg straight back behind you, keeping your hands on the ground and your back and legs straight.
  3. Inhale while lengthening your body, straightening your legs as much as possible. Exhale as you lift your leg, holding it parallel with the floor or raising it further and further until you are in a full Standing Split, one leg planted firmly on the ground with the other foot’s toes pointed directly at the ceiling (this requires significant flexibility and balance).
  4. Prevent your knees from bending, and keep your legs straight. You may walk your hands slightly closer to you to push yourself further, or walk them away from you for extra balance. To push your stretch limit, try grabbing your right Achilles tendon with your left hand.
  5. Once you’ve found the right position for you, hold for 30-60 seconds, remembering to take steady controlled breaths. Exhale while lowering your leg, then repeat the steps with the other leg.
Notes
  • Breathe deeply through each step.
  • Do not attempt this pose if you have a back, leg or ankle injury.
  • When first starting out, have a partner with you to help avoid and respond to injury. Do not push yourself into a full Standing Split immediately.
Tips

If you’re a beginner and need some extra support, try using a wall to assist your raised leg. The emphasis is the stretch, not the angle that your leg meets.
Instead of looking at your grounded foot, relax your neck and look towards your knee. This will guide you to bending further, allowing you to further extend and lift your other leg.

Stretches & Strengthens

All Muscles: Quads, hamstrings, calves, groin

Target Muscles: Hamstrings, calves, quads

Health Benefits of Standing Split Yoga Pose
  • Improves balance.
  • Stimulates liver and kidneys.

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Sanskrit Name & Meaning

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

(OORD-vah pra-sa-REE-tah eh-KAH pa-dAHs-anna)

urdhva: upright, erect, elevated
prasarita: extended, stretched out, expanded, spread
eka: single, one
pada: foot
asana: posture

History & Mythology

History & Mythology

There’s gotta be some history or mythology on this pose! We’ve looked high and low and have only come up with this message. Perhaps you have some information or resource for us to explore?