Urdhva (Upward) Prasarita (Expanded) Eka (One) Pada (Foot) Asana (Pose) is a pose I’ve fallen in love with. It gets you upside down, challenges your balance, tightens your tummy, strengthens your legs and lower back, and opens your hips. It’s also a good way to warm up for Monkey Pose, or front-to-back style splits.
To practice Standing Splits, stand in Mountain Pose with your hands on your hips. Breathe out and fold forward like a piece of paper. Reach your arms toward the floor and lengthen your spine. Let your head hang in Standing Forward Fold (Uttanasana) . Put your hands on the floor or make fists and put them into your opposite elbows if it feels nice. Take at least 3 deep breaths.
Next place your hands on the floor in front of you or on either side of your feet. Inhale and lift one leg toward the sky. Look down at the floor for balance. If you feel stable, grab your standing ankle with one or both hands. Keep reaching your leg up for 3-5 long breaths, then return to Standing Forward Fold. Repeat on the other side. Namaste.
Images: Coloring page from Yoga Teddy Bear’s Big Little Coloring Book of 108 Yoga Poses colored by Miss Michele Palumbo, Bay Shore, NY. Enter our coloring contest to win prizes. Pictures of Yoga Teddy Bear creator K. Mae Copham by Robert Oakley in New Paltz, NY.