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)

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