Yoga Full split or the ‘Hanumanasana‘ is every yoga practitioner’s dream. We have listed below 6 yoga asanas that will help you get into a full split. These 6 stretches for splits will prepare your body to achieve a full split.
A beautiful and elegant pose, Full Split, challenges your lower body as you bring your legs to a complete split while balancing your upper body. To achieve the yoga full split, would require working up a number of muscles in your lower half of the body, along with strengthening your back. Constant effort in the right direction will help you achieve the required balance and stability to perform the yoga full split.
With this in mind, we have listed below 6 yoga asanas or stretches that will help you get into a yoga full split. Some of these stretches have been modified a little and made dynamic for better results.
#1 Butterfly Pose
Butterfly pose, also called ‘Baddha Konasana‘ or ‘Titli Asana’ will help relieve tension in your lower back and in your thighs. Starting with a Butterfly pose would act as a warm-up for finally doing the yoga full split.
How to Practice Butterfly Pose
- Sit on your yoga mat or your floor, wherever you feel comfortable practicing.
- First straighten your legs completely and then bring your feet together, getting them close to the pelvic region and knees out to the side
- Hold your toes with your hands and ensure that your back is straight with your spine lengthened
- Now while holding your feet, move your knee up and down, as a butterfly would flap its wings. Repeat this for 10 counts, keeping the knees closer to the ground.
#2 Dynamic Frog Pose
Also known as ‘Mandukasana‘, is a hip opener that helps develop hip mobility and further strengthens your inner thigh. Since one of the main requisites of a yoga full split is good hip movement, doing the frog pose dynamically will help achieve this. It is preferred that this pose is done on the mat since it would add a little pressure on the knees.
How to Practice Frog Pose
- Sit on the mat and come your fours. Ensure that your hands are under your shoulders and knees and hips are in the straight line
- Now push your legs and feet out to widen your stance such that your legs are at an approximately 20 degree angle from your knees or to a point where you start feeling a little stretch on your inner thighs
- Next, try and come on to your forearms keeping your elbows and hands down, flat against the mat
- At this point you have reached the frog pose. You could either hold it here for 10 breaths, but in order to do it dynamically, inhale and push your body forward, without leaving the mat. Then exhale and move back. Repeat this movement for 10 counts.
- To come out of the frog pose, raise your arms, coming back on your hands and then sit back on a cross-legged position
#3 Low Lunge
Commonly also known as ‘Anjaneyasana‘, this helps increase the flexibility of the hips. This asana is beneficial in leg extensions as well.
How to Practice Low Lunge
- To come to a low lunge, first stand straight at one end of your mat and stretch your arms up to lengthen your entire body.
- Bed down from your waist to touch the floor, bringing your abdomen closer to the knees.
- Now take your left leg back, such that from knee below is touching the mat. Alongside, ensure that the right leg is at 90 degree, with the knee and ankle in the same line.
- Keep both your hands on the floor, with the arms straight, such that your hands are on the either side of the right foot. Keep focusing on brining your hips down
- If you aren’t able to bring your hands on the mat, you could also start with keeping them on the right knee.
- Hold this position for 5 to 10 counts and then repeat on the other side, taking your right leg back.
#4 Side Lunge
The Side Lunge or Half Squat or ‘Skandasana‘ is a hip opening exercise which also improves the flexibility of your lower body as you get into a deep stretch while practicing this pose.
How to Practice Side Lunge
- Stand straight on the mat, widen your legs to a medium stance
- Now move towards your left by bending your left knee and shifting weight on the left side. Bring yourself to sit down on the left side with your right leg straightened, parallel to the mat
- You could out your palms down on the mat for support. however, if you are able to balance, keep your palms off the mat and join your hands, interlocking your fingers in front of your chest.
- Now inhale and come up in the standing position and repeat it on the right side, by sitting down on your right foot and left leg straightened.
- Repeat this for 10 counts
#5 Pyramid Pose + Revolved Triangle Pose
Pyramid Pose is also known as ‘Parsvottanasana‘. This along with the Revolved Triangle Pose or ‘Parivrtta Trikonasana‘ provides a great stretch to your hamstrings, hips and spine. Revolved triangle pose is a great balancing posture that also opens up your chest and provides a good twist to your sides.
How to Practice Pyramid Pose + Revolved Triangle Pose
- Stand on one end of the mat, looking forward
- Now widen your legs and bring them to a medium stance. Your hips should be facing forward. When you do this, right foot will face forward and left foot will turn inside at a slight angle.
- Bend down from your waist and bring your abdomen closer to the right thigh
- Brings your palms to touch the mat such that they are placed on either side of your right foot
- Make sure that your right leg is straight.
- At this point you are in Pyramid Pose or Parsvottanasana. Hold this posture for 5 counts.
- Now, continuing from your current stance, we will move into the Revolved Triangle Pose or Parivrtta Trikonasana.
- Place your left palm outside the right foot. If your aren’t able to stretch that much, place it to the left of your right foot
- Now raise your right arm straight up. As you do this, your body will begin to twist on the right side.
- Look up and open up your chest as much as you can. Hold this posture for 5 counts.
- To come out of the posture, bring down the right arm and bring the left foot forward to join the right foot and then stand straight.
- Repeat this on the other side.
#6 Dynamic Half Split
As the name suggests, Half Split or ‘Ardha Hanumanasana‘, is half way to reaching your yoga full split. This would activate your hamstring and calf muscles.
How to Practice Dynamic Half Split
- Come to a downward dog position and then bring your right foot forward, in between your hands, such that it is bent at 90 degrees.
- Put your left foot down, such that from below the knee, it is in touch with the mat.
- At this point your hands are presses against the mat and technically, you are in the low lunge position.
- Now slowly start straightening your right leg completely and start folding your body from the waist, such that the abdomen begins to come closer to the right thigh. This is the Half Split or Ardha Hanuman Asana.
- You could hold this for 10 counts or do it dynamically. For a dynamic half split, fold your right leg to 90 degree, such that you come to a low lunge position, then again move stretch your right leg and fold forward your body to reach the half split. Repeat this for 10 counts.
- Now repeat on the other side, such that the right leg goes behind and the left moves dynamically.
- If you are a beginner, stretch only as much as you can. If you aren’t able to get into full postures, practice regularly and soon you would see an improvement in your flexibility
- After you have tried these poses, it is always a good idea to do an ‘Counter Pose‘, where your body is made to stretch in the opposite direction in order to restore the balance. For this practice, a great inversion pose would be Seated Forward Bend Pose or ‘Paschimottanasana‘, where you sit on the mat, back straight and legs stretched out. Then you slowly bend forward and bring your hands to touch your toes, while bringing the torso closer to your knees.