Also known as Straddle Split or Middle Split, Side Splits can be encountered in different types of body disciplines such as gymnastics, ballet, and Yoga. This position can be pretty intimidating especially if you have never been involved in any of these disciplines.
This position requires a great amount of flexibility and is very beneficial to the body’s overall mobility. Side Splits also stretch the lower back and the hamstrings and is also an intense hip opener. Staying in this position stimulates the abdominal region, helps develop strength of the spine and calms the mind.
Some people won’t even attempt trying Side Splits because they believe they aren’t flexible enough. Remember that your thoughts make the person you are. So be open to your possibilities and do not be afraid to learn. Though reaching the full position may seem really far, it is never impossible. Follow along these recommended Yoga preparatory poses to develop your flexibility and safely approach Side Splits.
Boat Pose/Navasana: A strong core is a must in any physical activity. This pose helps develop core strength, targeting the lower back, abdominal muscles, and hip flexors.
Wide-Angled Forward Fold/Prasarita Padottanasana: Being comfortable in this position is a pre-requisite before approaching Side Splits. This position activates psoas’ full flexion, which allows gentler stretch on the hips, hamstrings, down to the calf muscles.
How: To get into this pose, stand with four to five feet distance between your right and left foot. Make sure that your toes are facing forward. Then, bring your hands to your waist and take a deep breath in. Lengthen your spine, and slowly, fold forward through the waist. Plant your hands on the ground between your toes, making sure your fingers are pointed forward. Fold deeper into the pose by bending your elbows into a 90-degree angle, shifting your weight to the balls of your feet, activating and stretching all the muscles at the back of your legs. If you want to intensify the stretch even more, walk your hands past your toes. Hold the pose for five breaths and slowly stand back up to release.
Full Side Splits: Once you have become comfortable with Wide-Angled Forward Fold, you can now progress to the full Side Splits. You now have the flexibility needed to practice the pose without much hassle safely. This pose efficiently increases the core strength, opens the hips, and decompresses tensions on the back, hamstrings, and calves.
How: Sit on the ground with legs wide apart as much as comfortable. Flex your feet to activate all the muscles involved in the movement. Plant your hands on the ground. Inhale, fill your lungs with air as you lengthen your spine, and exhale as you lower your body to the ground. Keep breathing deeply as you lower even more with each exhalation. Once your forehead is finally resting on the floor, extend your arms forward and stay in this position for five breaths. To release, place your hands under your shoulders and slowly push your body away from the ground.
Developing flexibility does not happen overnight. Practice patiently. Listen to your body and do not force anything that hurts. Be aware of your movements, your breathing, and your thoughts.
In Yoga flows and movements that require a wide range of motion, such as the Side Splits, having suitable workout clothing that can go face to face with your flow is very helpful. Reliable Yoga pants boost your confidence to push through your possibilities, especially the type of leggings for women that can function with great versatility.
Koral Activewear Lustrous Leggings: This workout legging is a shiny, comfortable and fashion-forward legging. Whether on the Yoga mat or dressing up for a night out, this legging for women is very flexible in function. Koral Activewear Lustrous Leggings are a flattering body shaper made with 85% Polyamide, 15% Lycra Spandex, emphasizing the hips and butt for a sexy look.
As you dig deeper into the practice, being conscious of your body and mind can be challenging but not impossible. If you put your heart and mind to discipline yourself and stretch your possibilities, you will be amazed at how far you can go. Always flow with an open heart and make sure to enjoy your journey towards Side Splits!