Standing Splits Pose (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)

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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

Difficulty: Advanced

  • a woman doing standing splits pose elbow hold 2
  • woman doing the standing splits yoga pose

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
  • 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.
an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing a standing splits pose

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.

Preparatory Poses

Downward Facing Dog Pose

Standing Forward Bend

Big Toe Pose

Wide-Legged Forward Bend Pose

Head-To-Knee Pose

Reclining Big Toe Pose

Seated Forward Bend

Counter Poses

Upward Salute

Cobra Pose

Crocodile Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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