If you're looking for an effective way to stretch the backs of your legs and hips, give Standing Split a try. The best thing about this pose is that you can focus on one leg at a time. It's also a great pose to work on if you want to strengthen your sense of balance. Since your head is below your heart in this pose, you'll feel energized and alert afterward.
|Sanskrit Name: Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana
English Translation: One Foot Extended Upwards Pose
Also Called: Standing Split
To learn how to do this pose
- Begin standing in Mountain pose. Take a deep breath in, and as you exhale, fold forward from the waist. Bring both hands to the floor and work on straightening both legs.
- When you're ready, inhale and shift weight into your right foot and your palms. Then lift the left leg up as high as you can. You can bend the left knee if you like, or work on straightening the leg. Tuck your chin and draw your torso toward your right leg, breathing deeply and relaxing the shoulders away from the ears.
- Stay here for five breaths. Then return your left leg to the floor. Stay here for a complete breath and then do this pose with the left foot on the floor.