How to do the Standing Split Pose (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)

standing split pose

POSE INFORMATION

GENERAL INFO

Name in Sanskrit: Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Difficulty: Hard

POSE BENEFITS

  • Relaxes the brain
  • Stretches the calves, thighs and hamstrings
  • Stimulates the kidneys and liver
  • Strengthens your ankles, thighs and knees 
  • Stretches out your front thigh and groin and the back of your leg

POSE CAUTIONS

Avoid this pose if you have an injury in your lower back, knee or ankle.

yoga asana

HOW TO PRACTICE THIS ASANA

ONE

Perform Warrior II with your left leg forward. On an inhale, wave your right arm above your head stretching and spreading your ribs.

TWO

Exhale and rotate your torso towards the left, turning on the balls of your right foot and lifting your heel off of the floor.

Then lean over your left thigh, folding over at the hips and placing both hands on either side of your left foot (you can support each hand on a yoga block if they don’t rest easily on your mat).

THREE

Move your weight to your left foot, shifting your hands to a position slightly above it.

On your next inhalation, straighten the left leg slowly, while lifting your right leg to be parallel to your mat. 

FOUR

There has to be a balance in outwards in inwards rotation in both legs for this pose to hold.

Your right hip and leg will likely rotate outwards, causing your right hip to rise and your pelvis to angle towards the right.

Make sure the front of your pelvis remains parallel to your mat by rotating your right thigh inwards. 

FIVE

Recognize the way the energy in your standing leg moves your raised leg upwards.

Forget about how high up you can raise your leg and focus on sending equal amounts of energy into both of your legs instead.

Raise your leg until it is around parallel to the floor, preferably slightly higher, lowering your torso as you raise the leg higher. If you are flexible enough, Hold on to the back of your standing-leg ankle.   

SIX

The knee of your standing leg will likely rotate inwards turning your knee at an angle.

Ensure you turn your thigh and knee outwards so that your kneecap stays facing forwards.  

SEVEN

Hold this pose for about one minute.

Then, on an exhale, lower your raised leg and repeat on opposite side. 

How to do the Standing Split Pose (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

BEGINNERS TIP

You can press your raised-leg foot into a wall or hook the front of its ankle on the back of a chair for extra support.  

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