Standing Spilts Pose, Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana, (oord-vah prah-suh-ree-tuhek-uh pahd-ahs-uh-nuh)
urdhva (upward) + prasarita (expanded) + eka (one) + pada (leg) + asana (pose)
Also known as: Monkey Pose, Standing Split Pose, Standing Half Split
Pose Type: Stretching, Inversions, Strengthening, Balancing, Standing
Challenge your balance, concentration, and flexibility in Standing Splits Pose
Standing Splits Pose Fundamentals
Standing Half Splits is a challenging advanced pose that will test your balance, strength, and flexibility. A controlled and engaged asana, you won’t get there by simply swinging your leg up in the air.
This asana calls for you to respect and meet yourself where you are in your practice today.
Think of your lifted leg as an opportunity to take a leap forward in your yoga practice, and your rooted down leg as a personal reminder to be patient with yourself and to respect your current capacity.
Standing Splits Pose Benefits
- Strengthens the leg muscles, back muscles, and hips
- Massages internal organs
- Improves coordination and balance
- Stretches the back of the standing leg, the front of the lifted leg, and the groin
- Improves focus and concentration
How To Do The Standing Splits Pose: Step-By-Step
1. Begin in forward fold. Place your hands on either side of your feet, on blocks, or on your mat.
2. Shift your weight onto your standing foot, rooting down through all four corners of your foot, and float your other leg high up to the sky, toes pointed.
3. Fold your chest towards your standing leg and lift your leg up as high as you can whilst keeping your hips level to the earth.
4. Keep your hands on the earth, or if you find stability, clasp your ankle with both hands.
5. Stay here and breathe for as long as serves you. Step your foot back down and repeat on the other side.
Tips And Tricks:
- Be sure to warm up properly before attempting this asana. That way, you’ll not only be better prepared to achieve your full potential within this pose, but you’ll reduce your risk of injury.
- Tap into your imagination to help you achieve a Standing Split. As you fold forward, picture your lifted leg rising up as if a powerful balloon were tied to your ankle. At the same time, picture sand pouring down towards your head and through your standing leg, anchoring you down to the earth.
- Check out our article on the 8 Best Front Split Warm Up Poses.
Standing Splits pose variation: Standing Splits Against A Wall
Drag your yoga mat to a wall to advance your progress in this asana. By sliding the top of your lifted foot up the wall, you can get a feel for this asana and learn what it feels like to balance in this pose.
You can also use a chair as a prop to help your Standing Split. Rest the top of your foot on the seat or the back of a chair.
Precautions & Contraindications:
Lower Back, Ankle, Or Knee Injury:
If you are experiencing an injury in any of these areas, it may be best to come back to Standing Splits Pose once you are fully recovered.
Balance Issues Or Vertigo:
Standing Splits require a significant amount of balance and control. If you have trouble balancing, take extra precautions here. Perform this asana someplace where if you fall, you won’t be compromising your safety. It could be a good idea to lay pillows and blankets around the area where you are practicing.
Big Toe Pose
Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose
Reclining Big Toe Pose
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