Standing Split - Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana or the standing split is a pose included for toning of the body. The standing split in yoga is used to give your body an effective stretch, from the neck to the ankle.

It can also be translated as the one foot extended upward pose.

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Steps :

  1. The standing split steps include standing in the warrior pose to start the standing split. Raise your left arm while extending your right leg. Twist your torso to the right as you exhale and lift your left leg into the air.
  2. Now slowly lean forward and position your torso on your right thigh and rest your hands on the floor to bear the weight of your torso. Slowly shift weight on to your right leg while straightening your left leg over your head.
  3. It is important to rotate your leg and hip joint correctly while doing this pose. You have to ensure that your pelvis remains parallel to the floor though it might want to tilt to the left to balance the weight.
  4. Both legs and especially the knees need to remain straight. You need to pay special attention to keeping those legs straight. Both knee caps should face straight ahead. You have to push towards keeping the airborne leg straight and standing straight, simultaneously.
  5. As you get flexible you will be able to grasp the leg standing on the floor as the other leg ascends. The leg will ascend as the torso descends.
  6. Stay in this position for at least 30 seconds and slowly extend to a minute. Slowly exhale as you come back to the starting position. Repeat the steps with the other leg.

Precautions :

  • If you have any lower back or ankle injuries, this is not a pose you should attempt.
  • It is also important that you do this pose for the first few times in the presence of an instructor.

Beginner’s Tip :

A beginner’s tip for standing split is using a chair or a wall. Use a wall to support the raised leg or loop it around a high chair’s back while doing the pose. This will help you establish balance and confidence while doing the pose. The emphasis is on the stretch not the rise of the leg. Remember to extend the torso once the leg is elevated.

Benefit To Body Part :

  • The standing split has immediate benefits to different body parts like the thighs and legs. It can calm the brain, stretch and strengthen the hamstrings, calves along with thighs.
  • This pose even stimulates the kidneys and liver along with stretching the groin area and the back of the leg.

Therapeutic Applications :

  • As this is a version of a split, the pose is even good for relief from anxiety, fatigue, headaches, insomnia and mild depression.
  • It can also help improve concentration and memory power. You have to remember to not strain your spine.

Variations :

  • There are also some variations for standing split that include using some props or stretching using other techniques.
  • You can use blocks to rest your hands if they do not reach the floor. Flexible students can catch ankles of the leg that is resting the floor.

Preparatory Poses :

Follow Up Poses :

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