Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Last updated: December 21, 2023

What Does Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana Mean?

Urdhva prasarita eka padasana is a balancing inversion that stretches and strengthens the legs, calms the mind, and improves balance, concentration and coordination.

Beginning in virabhadrasana 3, the practitioner moves into this asana by lowering the hands toward the floor so the torso moves toward the standing leg. The weight shifts to the hands as the lifted leg is brought higher. The torso descends as the leg ascends.

The name of this asana comes from the Sanskrit urdhva, meaning "upward," prasarita, meaning "expanded," eka, meaning "one," pada, meaning "foot" or "leg," and asana, meaning "pose." The literal translation in English would be "one foot expanding upward pose," but the common name is standing split pose.


Yogapedia Explains Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Practicing this asana stimulates the muladhara (root) and svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakras, promoting a sense of stability, connectedness and vitality. Activating these chakras encourages the practitioner to feel rooted, connected and balanced. In its fullest expression, it can also energize the sahasrara (crown) chakra, which soothes and clears the mind.

The practitioner should not focus on how high the raised leg can go, but, rather, on directing equal energy into both legs. If it is not possible to place the hands on the floor, yoga blocks may be used instead. The lifted leg may be supported by a chair or a wall as well. Flexible practitioners can deepen this asana by grabbing the standing leg with one or both hands.

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