Energizing, strengthening, and lengthening — there are so many things we love about a beginner-friendly inversion like Standing Split. If you're prepared for a mouthful of Sanskrit, it's known as "Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana" — now trying saying that three times fast!
This fairly common pose pops up regularly in all levels and styles of yoga, and these small tips will make a big difference in your next practice — whether you're new to yoga or an advanced student. Once you've got the basic shape down, these pointers will help this pose work its wonders on your legs and hips.
Don't turn out your hip: To make the most of Standing Split (and almost every other pose), it's essential to bring attention to alignment; it's not about your leg being the highest out of the whole class! Once your hands are on the ground and you start to move more deeply into this pose, don't let your knee turn out toward the wall. Focus on turning your inner thigh towards the center of your body and keeping your pelvis parallel to the floor.
Don't force a straight leg: If you're new to yoga and the backs of your legs are very tight, your leg might not stretch out into a perfectly straight line. Your body will get just as much out of a Standing Split with a bent knee as it would if your leg was perfectly straight. And don't be discouraged — your legs and hips will open up with time!
Don't strain your neck: Once you're into your full expression of Standing Split, ever so slightly tuck your chin in towards your chest so the crown of your head points down toward the ground. Making this tiny adjustment will allow any unnecessary tension to spill out from the back of your neck and help you sink deeper into this challenging pose.
Do you love or hate Standing Split? Tell us in the comments!