Sunday, July 5, 2015

Have Fun With The Splits

If you clicked on this post you probably are interested in doing the splits.

Great!  In this post I share two places where some splits or splits-like postures sneak into the current sequence I am teaching.

But as you watch the videos (there are two), look at the photos and read through just remind your self that when you practice anything, try your best but do not be attached to an outcome.

If the splits come they come.  If they don't they don't.  Accept that.  Do not force.  Do not strain.  Move slowly.

This is not an instructional post about how to do the splits.  It is a post to show where you can slip them (or like postures) into parts of your practice.

The first of these postures does not come until at least a good 15-20 minutes of the sequence. That means we have moved and warmed ourselves.

Watch the first video, below, which is an interesting variation on a side bending upside down splits that starts with parsvakonasana.  I deconstruct the posture afterwards with step by step photos and instructions.

Then, in the middle of our sequence, take a look at how we move from gadjastan (elephant stance) to the more traditional seated splits.

Upside down side bending splits
The video shows the transition from parsvakonasana to upside down side bending splits.

1. Come to parsvakonasana.  Watch previous posts on parsvakonasna if you are not sure how.

2. Pelvis remains in place, turn navel, ribs, chest and bring shoulders to the inside of thigh or knee if possible.  Press inner thigh and outer arm into one another.  Be mindful that your butt does not swing out to the side here.

3. Bring inside hand to back of calf from the inside.  Keep nuzzling knee and shoulder into one another.  Press that hand into the calf and calf into hand.  Again, mindful your butt is not off out to the side. 

4.  Other hand comes to ground.

5.  Lean forward and begin to bring that back foot in.  Be on toe tip so there is as little weight on that back foot as possible. 

6. Keep leaning forward, nuzzling arm and leg, pressing calf and hand, and lift off if safe and comfortable.  Look towards your back foot.

Fun on the floor!
Below is a video that shows how we transition from standing to splits on the floor.  

I show two variations--the first is for people more familiar and comfortable with full splits.  

The second is for those less familiar and less comfortable with the splits.  Remember, try your best without being attached to an outcome. 

To come into this posture we start here.

Make our way mindfully to the ground.  Pause and get that tummy firm in a way you can still feel the movement of the breath there!

Go for a upavista konasana--a sort of wide legged side split type posture.  I have my arms reaching up to lengthen my spine and I am working with sitting bones down and top of pelvis back so I am not being too archy in my lower back.

Then, either turn spine and lift and make my way to a split like this....

...or, bend both knees then lift and turn to a long lunge.

Smile and have fun.

Only do what feels comfortable.  Try to practice to your own body and how it is at that moment and not to what you think you should to be doing.  

This is a pose in our current sequence as we work our way through outdoor yoga in chilly Canberra (the ear muffs might be a give away!).  The posts are intended for students who work with me and know my teachings.  Overseas we can work on these in my upcoming retreats in Sri Lanka (July 2015) and Bali (September/October) 2015 (see

Happy and safe practicing!

Much metta,

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