How to do the splits

Flexibility has never been my strong suit when I first started yoga, and accomplishing splits just seemed like a faraway dream for me. Hanumanasana (also called monkey pose or splits) is an intense stretch pose that a lot of people focus on their front legs and how tight they feel, spending exorbitant amount of time stretching, stretching and stretching their hamstrings. Little do they know that Hanumansana requires flexibility in both the front and back legs. The front leg requires hamstring suppleness, and the back leg requires openness in the hip flexors. When you can find a balance stretch between the front and back legs in Hanumanasana, you’ll find a balanced pose.

Here are some poses I’ve been practicing to improve my flexibility and to deepen my (not fully there yet) splits.

1. Pigeon pose

pigeon

2. Lizard pose

lizard

3. Reclining hand to big toe pose

reclining

4. Intense side stretch pose (parsvottanasana)

intensed

5. Uttanasana

uttanasana

6. Ankle to knee pose

ankle

7. Happy baby pose

baby

8. Low lunge quad stretch

lunge

And finally… Hanumanasana!

splits

It doesn’t matter if your pelvis is far away from the ground, you can support yourself with props as you get into your splits (eg. Blocks/cushions). Always remember to take it easy and not force into the pose as it might lead to injuries. Go at your own pace and enjoy the journey.

IMG_3115

As you can see, I am not there yet but I’m proud that I’ve come a long way since the start of my YTT!

 

Photo credits: MCKIBILLO

Eunice Koh

200hr YTT (weekend)