Good afternoon friends!

It’s a rainy Monday here in Texas. This morning during my class, it was thundering and lovely! I’m so grateful for the rain. This week we continuing our focus on the variety-rich poses in the “dragon” family. This week we delve into the splits variations of the dragon poses. These poses can be rather intense on the hips and hamstrings,  so do be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to ease into the posture. Do your best to breathe through the discomfort, taking on sensation through the inhales and releasing through the exhales. The space created from these poses can lead to all kinds of wonderful benefits, but we have to find some stillness. Do your best!

Directions

To get into the basic posture, make your way to table top or down dog and draw one foot through in between the hands. Place the knee so it’s just above the ankle (rather than jolting beyond the ankle). Walk your back knee toward the back of the mat to settle the hips into the right amount of intensity for you to start with. Starting here in a lunge position allows for you to release the tight muscles on the front body (quad and psoas especially).

Splits: Quad stretch

 

 

 

 

 

After about 1-2 minutes in a lunge position, you can begin to shift your hips back as you straighten out the front leg. Curl the toes slightly in toward the shin to activate the front of the leg. You can stay in this variation or begin to inch your front heel forward and your other leg back until you find a good place to stop and breathe for a bit. See variations below for some suggested ways to SLOWLY make your way all the way down. I would recommend these even if you have flexible hamstrings. Being mindful in the journey down is just as (if not more) powerful as the fullest expression itself.

Splits: Half SplitSplits: Full Pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes

Variations

  1. Elevate your hips | To decrease the intensity of the posture, lift yourself up a bit higher to blocks or keep the arms straight the whole time.
  2. Folded forward | Sometimes folding forward actually takes some of the intensity out of the posture. Feel free to explore how it feels in your body – and force nothing! Relax your shoulders here.
  3. Half Happy Baby | If pressure on the back knee is too much, you can alternatively do your half happy baby pose on your back.
  4. Drop the knee to the side | As long as there’s no pain, you can spin the front foot to a slight angle and drop the knee to the side rolling to the pinky edge of the foot. Do keep some engagement in the foot so the ankle remains protected from possible injury. You can stay or grab the back foot for a twisted monkey variation.
  5. Walk the hands to the side | To encourage a deeper release in the hips as well as the side body, walk your hands in the opposite direction of the feet. You can stay lifted or play with lowering the forearms.
Supported with a rounded block
Rounded block under hamstring
Two blankets or a small bolster
Two blankets or a small bolster under hips
One blanket under the hips
One blanket under the hips
Folded
Folded

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BENEFITS

ENERGETICS

USE CAUTION: Contraindications for this posture include…

HOLD: 3-5 minutes, depending on your own personal needs. You can do each variation of this pose for 1-2 minutes each before switching to the other side. Come out of this pose very slowly from this posture (as with any yin pose).

COUNTER POSTURES 

Windshield wipers will also feel nice on the hips. A gentle childs pose will also feel nice on the back and the legs.

Windshield wiper the legs side to side several times to balance the body out. Full Body Release Yin Sequence - Childs pose

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.