Hanumanasana-  Hanumanasana(Splits) is named after Lord Hanuman, an ardent devotee of Rama. It is done in many physical practice like yoga, gymnastic, martial arts and dance. It is done by extending one leg in the front and another in the back in such a way that it makes a straight line. This pose is suitable for advanced yogis as they have idea about the muscles that need to be used to perform specific poses.

Effective stretches to do the splits

Splits requires a lot of leg flexibility and proper warm up so focus on stretching your hips, hamstrings and quadriceps before doing it. Here are some stretches that will help you to do the splits and increase your leg flexibility as well.

Forward Fold

How it helps to do splits:

By stretching and lengthening the hamstring.

Tips/Modifications: You can bend your knees or keep a pillow between your chest and thighs if you feel pain while keeping your leg straight but don't straighten your legs forcefully.

Contraindication: Slipped disc

Butterfly Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By stretch and opening up the thighs and hips as well.

Tips/Modifications: You can use the wall to support your back and you can hold the ankles if you feel difficulty in holding the toes .

Contraindications: Recent injury or surgery.

Garland Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By stretching thighs, groin, hips, ankles and torso and strengthening the hamstring and quadriceps.

Tips/Modifications: You can roll a blanket and place it in the crease of both knees and place blanket under heels for better balance.

Contraindication: Injury to low back, knees or ankles.

Happy Baby Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By stretching the outer hips and inner groins.

Tips/Modifications: You can place a blanket under your neck and lower back to support the neck and lower back respectively and you can also separate knees or hold ankles if you feel difficult to do this pose.

Contraindications: Injury to neck, ankles and knees and pregnancy.

Low Lunge Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By strengthening and stretching ankles, knees, legs and quadriceps

Tips/Modifications: Press your foot against the wall and do this pose for better balance.

Contraindications: Heart problems, high blood pressure, injury in knees or hips.

Lizard Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By stretching the hamstrings, hips and quadriceps.

Tips/Modifications: If you are unable to place your arms in the floor you can place blocks below the arms and place the knees on the mat if you feel difficult to hold it.

Contraindications: Injury in knees or hips and weak forearms

Half Splits Pose

How it helps to do splits:

By stretching the hips, legs, hamstrings and ankles.

Tips/Modifications: If you feel difficulty in touching the floor place a yoga block under your hands and focus on lifting hips up and straightening the spine because it's the point where most of the people make mistake.

Contraindications: Injury in hips, hamstrings or knees and blood pressure.

Step by step procedures to do Splits

Even after doing above mentioned stretches you might get confused or may be unable to figure out how to enter into this pose. So, here are some steps that will help you to enter into hanumanasana;

Step 1: Go on low lunge pose with right or left leg in the front(as per the type of splits you are going to do)

Step 2: Slowly slide your front leg(place blocks or pillows under your front hamstring if you are a beginner).

Step 3: Slide your front leg until it reaches the floor and push both of your legs keeping it straight at a 90 degree angle to the floor.

Tips/Modifications: Try to keep your hips square, for this you can place yoga blocks under your hip or you can twist your hands.

Benefits of Splits

  1. Splits improve joint health and balance.
  2. It stretches the thighs and hamstrings.
  3. It opens up the hip flexors.
  4. It helps to stimulate reproductive and digestive organs.
  5. It helps to stretch the back muscles.

Precautions

  1. Don't try to do the splits if you have injury in hamstrings or hips
  2. Do not over stretch or try to do the splits forcefully as it may tear cause injury in the hamstring which will take number years to recover.
  3. Splits is an advanced pose so make sure to do proper warmup before doing it.

Note: Hold each pose for 30 sec in average. Splits is an advance yoga pose so it may take months or even years but don't ever get demotivated. Just be persistent and keep practicing and one day you will be there. Remember #practiceandalliscoming .