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8 Yoga Poses to do the Splits or Hanumanasana

Published on 05 Jun 2021

8 Yoga Poses to do the Splits or Hanumanasana

Getting into the Splits pose or Hanumanasana, a.k.a Monkey Pose, might be every yogi’s end goal. But, the process to get there is one that requires patience and practice. You can ace the Full Splits by increasing flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, glutes, and quads; the secret to splitting it like a ballerina is baby steps and stretches. We have listed down 8 yoga asanas/stretches that will equip you to do the Full Splits in one classy move!

Due to our habit of sitting down for long periods, our hamstrings feel tightened. Flexible hamstrings play a major role in immersing in the Monkey Pose. So, if you are unable to stretch as wide as your instructors or peer then, worry not! We will get there one day. 

Tip to Take

Before starting your practice of these yoga stretches/asanas, be sure to warm up through multiple rounds of Sun Salutation or any other mode you like.

Practice these 8 Stretches Daily to do the Full Splits Pose One Day

The below-mentioned yoga asanas will focus on gaining flexibility and endurance in the hamstrings, glutes, hips, and quads.

Suggested Read: 5 Morning Yoga Poses

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)

Feel the burn in your hamstrings, and don’t let your knees buckle!

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Paschimottansana

  1. Sit with your back straight and legs spread out
  2. Raise your arms over your head (reach for the ceiling!)
  3. Inhale and lengthen your spine. Exhale while bending forward to reach your knees (Try to rest your belly on your thighs)
  4. Hold your ankles, or stay in that position as long as you find it comforting.
  5. Inhale back up.
  6. Repeat this yoga pose for 10-15 breaths.

Modification

Make use of a folded blanket to elevate your hips and gain length comfortably while stretching forward.

Low Lunge (Anjaneyasana)

Flexibility in hips is a key factor while coming into the Full Splits Pose. Anjaneyasana hits that exact spot and increases extension and flexion in the hips region. 

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Anjaneyasana 

  1. Start by coming into the downward-facing dog pose.
  2. From there, gently bring your right foot between your foot. Make sure to keep your right ankle directly under your right knee
  3. Let your left knee rest on the yoga mat, and untuck your toes
  4. Bring your hands on either side of your right foot
  5. Stay in the low lunge pose for 5-10 deep breaths

Suggested Read: With the world in a whirlwind, Yoga is our Savior (Benefits of Yoga)

Lizard Lunge (Utthan Pristhaasana)

A deeper hip flexion version of Low Lunge, Lizard Lunge works wonders as far as hip stretches are concerned. 

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Lizard Lunge

  1. Bring your hands inside your foot from the Low Lunge position
  2. Steadily walk your front foot as close to the edge of the yoga mat as you can
  3. Hold your hands in this position (Yoga blocks is also an option), or drop your elbows to the ground for higher intensity
  4. Stay in the pose for 5-7 breaths
  5. Repeat on the other side

Tip

If you experience tightness in your hip region, then make use of yoga blocks. Ease into the pose!

Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

For acing the Full Splits or Monkey Pose, you need to engage and increase the flexibility in your hips, hamstrings, and glutes. And, Pigeon Pose works in that very direction!

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Pigeon Pose

  1. Lie on your back
  2. Keep your glutes as near to the glutes as you can on the mat
  3. While raising your knees to the sky
  4. Now bring your right ankle up and cross it over your left knee
  5. To intensify this pose, grab your left hamstring and gently bring it closer to your chest
  6. Hold on to this Pigeon Pose for 5-7 breaths.
  7. Repeat with the other leg

Modification

You can make use of a chair and perform the Piegon Pose by activating your legs while sitting.

Suggested Read: 5 Night Yoga Poses

Reclining Happy Baby Pose (Ananda Balasana)

A happy yoga pose that will help you gain flexibility in your hamstrings and deepen hip flexion. 

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Happy Baby Pose

  1. Begin by lying flat on your back
  2. Bring your knees closer to your chest
  3. Now try to grasp the pinky toes of your feet and widen your knees to bring them near your armpits
  4. Your feet will be facing the sky
  5. Hold on to the Happy Baby Pose for 6-7 breaths or as long as it feels good

Modification

If you cannot grab your feet, then sweat not!

Holding your ankles or hamstrings would work just as well, and you will still benefit from the stretch.

 Remember to feel the goodness of your stretch!

Suggested Read: 8 Benefits of Yoga for Kids

Half Split Pose (Ardha Hanumanasana)

Before perfecting the full splits, we should probably start at half? Half Split Pose stretches your back, hips, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and Achilles. Thus, a great add-on to the list of yoga stretches!

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Half Split Pose  

  1. Begin by coming into downward-facing dog
  2. Step your right foot between your hands
  3. Lower your left knee on the yoga mat and rise onto your fingertips
  4. Now straighten the right knee till you align your left hip directly under the left knee
  5. Flex your right foot to feel the stretch in your hamstrings
  6. Start walking your fingertips forwards while bending ahead towards the straightened leg
  7. Keep the length of your spine straight
  8. Try to bring the chest forward rather than touching the head to shin
  9. Stay in the Half Split Pose for 8-10 breaths
  10. Repeat with the other leg

Reclining Quad Stretch (Supta Matsyendrasana Variation)

Flexible quads equal to comfortable Full Splits. And Reclining Quad Strech works exactly on increasing the strength and flexibility of quads. 

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Supta Matsyendrasana

  1. Lie flat on your back and hug your knees to your chest
  2. Grasp the top of your left foot (or ankle) with your right hand and gently move the left leg down to the yoga mat
  3. Now place your left hand on your right shin and keep hugging it on your chest
  4. Bring your core into action by keeping it engaged. It will also protect your lower back
  5. Hold the pose for 5-7 breaths
  6. Repeat with the other leg

Tip

Tightness in quads is fairly common. If you feel pain or discomfort in your quads while coming into this yoga asana, then let go for a little while and try again!


Full Splits with a twist of Yoga Block

If you feel you have enough practice and flexibility to sway the full splits, then trying this assisted version would bring you one step closer to the ‘Dream Pose’!

Step-by-step instructions on practicing Full Splits with a Yoga Block Assist

  1. Start by coming back into the half split pose
  2. Place a yoga block under the glute of your front leg
  3. Now with the use of your hands on each side support your body as your lift your back knee and straighten it as per your comfort (Take it easy here!)
  4. Placing the block on your front glute, gently bring your hips back to the mat (Remember comfort is the key)
  5. Hold the pose for 5-7 breaths or as long as you can

Tip

Start by using a yoga block of medium height and eventually reduce it to small till the distance between your things and yoga mat diminishes!

Ease into these yoga poses and practice daily for coming into the Full Splits Pose one day!