How To Do A Vertical Standing Split

By Subodh / December 23, 2014

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana – that is how it is referred to as in yoga terms. It is a yoga pose that is known to bestow you with better balance and strength, at the same times challenges the stability of your core. You have to balance yourself on your arms and a single leg, while the other leg is extended at 180 degrees. A mild inversion and forward bending yoga pose, it is a core and leg toner too. Plus, it is an awesome way to calm down your pacing brain.

Here is a step by step guide on how you can do it.

What All Do You Need

Yoga Mat

vertical standing split

How To Do Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana – Step By Step

  1. Stand straight on the yoga mat, feet joined together, big toes and heels in contact with each other.
  2. Roll down the shoulders backward allowing the shoulders to come closer to each other, away from the ears.
  3. Hands will rest on either side of the body, palms facing away from the thighs.
  4. Pull up your knee caps, strong and straight. Tuck in your core.
  5. Taking a deep inhalation and as you exhale, bend forward from the hips, allowing your torso to rest in the thighs.
  6. Keep your back parallel to the ground while palms rest in the mat, in front of the feet.
  7. Pressing the left foot firmly on the ground, lift the left foot off the floor, extending it backward, toes pointing towards the ceiling. Keep lifting the leg with each exhalation till it makes a 90 degree angle with the floor.
  8. Tilt your right thigh inward, so that your pelvis is straight.
  9. Slowly lift your hands off the floor, balancing yourself, and wrap them around the shin of your right foot.
  10. With each exhalation, try to bring your head as close as possible to the floor, keeping the neck relaxed.
  11. Hold the pose for 20 deep, slow breaths.
  12. Place your hands on the floor.
  13. Place the right foot slowly on the mat.
  14. Place your hands on your hips and slowly come out of the pose.
  15. Bend backward gently as a counter pose.
  16. Repeat the same with the left leg also.

Tips and Modifications

  1. If you are a beginner or have a stiff back, you can use yoga blocks for placing your hands.
  2. Keep both your legs straight as you hold the pose. However, if you feel an unpleasant stretch on your hamstrings or have a back injury, bend the standing leg mildly, initially. Once you lift the other leg to the comfortable level, straighten the leg.
  3. If you are a beginner or have some injuries, then make sure you are lifting your leg till hips.
  4. New practitioners can place the palms on the floor itself while holding the pose instead of placing them on the shin.

Precautions

  1. People with knee, lower back, and ankle injuries should stay away from attempting this pose.
  2. If you are new to yoga, then make sure you inform your instructor before trying Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana.
  3. It is advisable for pregnant, and menstruating women not to try out this pose.

The Preparatory Poses

Practice 3 or more of the following poses before getting into the vertical standing split.

  1. Uttanasana or Padangusthasana – Forward Bend
  2. Adho Mukha Svanasana – Downward Facing Dog Pose
  3. Prasarita Padottanasana – Wide Legged Forward Bend
  4. Janu Sirsasana – Head To The Knee Pose
  5. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bend

The Follow Up Pose

  1. Ardha Kati Chkarasana – Mild Standing Backbend
  2. Bhujangasana – Cobra pose
  3. Urdhva Mukha Svanasana – Upward Facing Dog Pose

The Health Benefits of Vertical Standing Split

Here is why you should try doing the vertical standing split:

  1. Stretches, strengthens, and tones thighs, calves and hamstrings
  2. Good for your groin, back side of the legs, and inner thighs
  3. Improves blood circulation to the brain
  4. Stimulates digestive system, liver, and kidneys

Now that you know how to do a vertical standing split, when are you going to try it? Start practicing and enjoy its benefits!