Yoga Poses

Tara Stiles’ Splits Sequence

Stiles’s mantra? “Stay easy and enjoy!” Here’s her simple routine for working toward opening your body and mind for splits.

Low Lunge

tara stiles low lunge

Stand with your feet a bit apart. Soften your knees and step your right foot back. Sink your hips low, dropping your fingertips to the ground for stability. Ease your back knee to the ground, and move your hands to your front thigh, bringing your torso upright and making sure your front knee doesn’t go past your toes. Relax your shoulders down your back. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths. 

Runner’s Stretch

tara stiles hamstring stretch

From Low Lunge, bring your hands back to the ground, tuck your back toes, and draw your hips toward your back heel. Relax your torso over your front leg. Allow your body to sway around a bit, and move however it feels great to move. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths.

Single-Leg Forward Bend

tara stiles parsvottanasana

Keeping your fingertips on the ground, lift your hips and straighten your legs, and then soften your knees. Lengthen your spine, and fold your torso over your front leg, allowing it to sway around however feels good to you. Stay here for 5 long, deep breaths.

Splits

tara stiles hanumanasana, splits

Come back to Low Lunge, shift toward Runner’s Stretch again, and slide your front heel ahead, letting your back leg become straighter. Find a place where you feel a nice opening and can still breathe easily and fully. No need to force or push your body into the shape pictured above. If you feel pain or tension as your legs move away from each other, lift your hips back up to a place where you feel comfortable. Relax your head, neck, and shoulders. Allow your inhales to be full and deep, with your exhales a little longer. Hang here for 10 long, deep breaths.