Prasaritha Padothasana a.k.a. “Intense Split Leg Stretch” will increase your flexibility ten-fold! There are four variations to this posture (A to D) which are practised, in order, as part of the standing sequence of postures in the Prana Vashya Yoga™ Primary Series.
How to get into the position
From standing at the top of your yoga mat, turn to the right with your feet about 4 -4.5 feet apart, inhale and raise your arms straight up in the air to elongate your spine; extending from the backward line. Then exhale and take your chest inside by leaning your torso forward from your hip joints and fold forward from your hips. As your torso approaches parallel to the floor, press your palms onto the floor directly below your shoulders ensuring that your fingers and toes are in one line. Finally, release your head down, without collapsing your neck- keeping it long. For the full posture, you can then place the crown of your head on the floor (vision point up at the sky, to tilt the pelvic bone forwards).
Do not arch your back and do not let your hips go behind your ankles.
With every inhalation, extend your spine and lift your hips. With every exhalation, press the inside line of your feet to fold further forwards. Hold for five full breaths.
Prasaritha Padothasana A:
Stretches the back and inside of the legs including the calves and hamstrings
Increases flexibility in the spine and hips
Prepares your body for back-bending yoga asana
Helps relieve mild backache
Avoid this posture if you have arthritis of the toes, ankles, fingers or wrists and approach this posture with caution if you suffer from sciatica.