Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana, also known as Standing Split Pose, strengthens the hamstrings, ankles, knees, and thighs, while stretches the hamstrings, calves, groin and lower back.
An intermediate to advanced level pose that stretches and strengthens the hamstrings and is often performed in preparation for Full Splits Pose (Hanumanasana). The pose is also a preparation pose for the Handstand (Sirsasana).
The pose is a balancing pose, improves the body’s sense of balance and coordination and gives some of the benefits of an inverted pose.
Staying in this yoga posture for a 60 seconds improves the body’s sense of balance. The pose increases the level of confidence and awareness, as it requires a lot of attention to maintain the posture. This yoga pose can also help with mild headaches, migraines, mild depression and anxiety.
Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is made up of five words – Urdhva + Prasarita + Eka + Pada + Asana:
- “Urdhva” = “upward”
- “Prasarita” = “expanded or split or stretch out or expand”
- “Eka” = “one”
- “Pada” = “foot or leg”
- “Asana” = “pose or posture”
Benefits of Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing split pose)
The physical and mental benefits of this yoga pose are listed below:
- Physical Benefits:
- Stretches the hamstrings, quadriceps, calves,
- Opens the heart
- Strengthens the lower body, spine, hamstrings, ankles, knees, and thighs
- Improves the flexibility of upper and lower body and spine
- Improves the function of the internal organs (especially liver and kidneys)
- Supports the detoxification process
- Improves the breathing capacity
- Reduces the symptoms of asthma
- Increases the blood flow
- Mental Benefits:
- Calms the mind
- Enhances the focus, concentration, memory, and will power
How do you do Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing split pose)?
- Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with feet together and hands along the body. Distribute weight evenly in feet. If you’re having trouble staying balanced here, stand with your feet parallel and hip distance apart.
- Slowly lean forward and move the torso to the right thigh. Keep your hands on the floor in a relaxed position to control your body weight.
- Now, slowly shift the body weight onto the right leg while you straighten the left leg over the crown.
- Note, while doing this yoga posture, you have to rotate the hip joint and the leg properly.
- Make sure that, you should keep the pelvis parallel to the floor; So that he wants to lean to the left to balance the weight.
- During the process, keep both legs and knees straight, with both knee caps facing straight. You should push your chest towards the standing leg to keep your raised leg straight in the air. Grab the standing leg on the floor once you maintain flexibility. The torso will go down, the legs will go up.
- Hold the position for about 30 to 60 seconds, then exhale slowly and slowly lower the foot to the floor and return to Tadasana (Mountain Pose).
- Repeat the same process with the opposite leg.
Precautions and contraindications
Practicing this yoga pose demands strength of your whole body along with flexion of your shoulders, neck, hips and knees. Hence some precautions and contraindications must be kept in mind while practicing this yoga posture, which are explained below:
Injury and surgery
Individuals should practice with caution if they have injuries to their knees, hips, lower back, ankles, shoulders, arms or neck. The entire body is stretched to hold this yoga pose, so it should be avoided if there is a break in the muscles and tendons. Recovery from any type of surgery is a contraindication, and it is best to avoid this yoga pose.
High blood pressure
Individuals suffering from high blood pressure may not benefit from the intensity of this Forward Bend Balancing Yoga pose. Balancing your body on one leg while extending the other puts pressure on your breath as well as your heart. Thus, it is unsafe to practice this yoga posture if there is a problem related to blood pressure.
People who are suffering from symptoms related to migraine should avoid practicing this yoga posture. Due to the pressure on your eyes and head in this yoga posture, you may have trouble with headache. However, in practice a better option is to use a wall for support to reduce the pressure.
If you are not sure about your balance, or if you have any problem related to balancing your body, then you should avoid practicing this yoga posture. Before doing this yoga pose, with the easy intermediate level poses aimed at improving your balance and flexibility can be practiced.
The pose puts pressure on the hips and lower back, which places tension and pressure on the sciatic nerve. Those who suffer from a history of sciatica should take care while stretching in this yoga pose. A few straight-up asanas should be practiced before gradually progressing into this yoga posture, which is not as hard on the sciatic nerve, but should only be done with the guidance of an experienced yoga teacher/instructor.