I must admit… I think “Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana” is by far one of the most fun things to say. It’s right up there with “supercalifragilistic-expialidocious!” It can, however, not always feel as fun to do. Not only is it a forward bend (which requires some sweet talking of the hamstrings) it is also a balancing posture (which requires, well, a little sweet talking of everything.) But bring a sense of adventurous exploration to your body, breath and mentality as you ground down in your standing leg, and in time, soar upwards through your top reaching toes!
Think of your top toes as your own personal flag. Spread them up into the air above you to catch a sense of lightness, and imagine staking your standing leg downward, like a flagpole, for support.
Keep your standing knee unlocked by resisting the shinbone forward and energizing the quadriceps muscles upward.
Keep an internal rotation of the top leg, even as it extends up. Be conscious of keeping an evenness in the pelvis. Cocking up the raised hip too much can cause uncomfortable tension in the lower back, sacroiliac joints, and hip joint.
To fold deeper, lengthen from the standing leg hip through and side waist.
Energize more deeply into the forward-fold by gripping palm to calf or Achilles to lengthen yourself further into the “splits” element. Use the same “lengthen forward from your hip crease” work that you do in Halfway Lift (Ardha Uttanasana).
Practice pressing or hopping into Handstand from this posture, or use it as a transition into other standing or balancing postures.
Courtesy of: Hanna Riley – Bala Vinyasa Yoga