• Lengthen your spine and come onto your fingertips as you inhale.
• Bring the weight into your left foot.
• On your next inhalation, lift your right leg up behind you parallel with the floor as in Warrior III.
• Internally rotate the right leg by rolling the right inner thigh up.
• As you exhale fold over your standing leg bringing the hands back to either side of your foot, while lifting the right leg higher.
• Keep the standing leg engaged by lifting the knee cap and front of thigh.
• Press through the ball of the raised foot.
• Come out of the pose by lowering the leg back to Uttanasana.
• Stay here for a few breaths before repeating on the other side.
Beginners tips • Start by working on Warrior III pose. From there come into Standing Splits.
• Work on keeping the hips level rather than lifting the leg as high as you can. Press the top of your standing leg back without locking the knee.
• Pressing out through the ball of the lifted leg will help to keep it lifted.
• Tones and strengthens the legs, feet and ankles.
• Improves balance and focus.
• Stretches the hamstrings, calves and quads.
• It's an inversion ~ increasing blood flow to the brain and calming the nervous system.
Watch out for...
• Avoid this pose if you have ankle or knee injuries or problems with your blood pressure that prevent you doing inversions.
• Avoid locking the standing knee.
• Focus on stretching the front of the lifted thigh - keeping the hips square and level - rather than opening up the hip to get the leg higher.
• If you are feeling steady in the pose try taking hold of the ankle with both hands.
• Try Standing Splits against a wall.
• Try Standing Splits as part of a balance sequence moving from Standing Staff (Uttitha Hasta Padangustasana) to Warrior III to Standing Splits and then from here back to Standing Staff, with your hands on your hips.
Alternative Pose Pyramid Pose Parsvottanasana
Preparation Uttanasana Standing Forward Bend
Transition Warrior III Virabhadrasana III
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