How to Do the Splits | Yoga for Splits

How to Do the Splits | Yoga for Splits


Hi I’m Jean Mazzei. This is about juicy hips
and we’re gonna work your splits so if you need a nice down and dirty way of
kind of getting into the hips get a nice and open all the way around leading you
into a better splits practice, this is your jam. So let’s enjoy. It’s gonna be a
little non-traditional to start- go figure.
That’s kind of what I do, but we’re gonna get into some other more traditional
things. You can do this at the beginning of any practice, again a stand
alone practice- anything you need. Okay? First we’ll start with the legs pretty
wide- not too wide. Those of you that are really wide like this- no. Make it
functional wide. So because we’re gonna be getting in and bending the legs. Take
the body over and the first thing it’s the figure eights. So you’re gonna draw a
figure eight with your tailbone. So it like you could have a big paintbrush on
the bottom of your tail can be drawing a figure eight and as I draw a figure
eight with my tail my head and my hands will follow like a paintbrush.
Notice that I’m bending one leg and then the other leg so the idea is to keep
again that fluidity, that sensualness, that connection through your feet, knees,
ankles, and hips. Not necessarily in that order however. Feet, ankles, knees and hips
may be sequentially and move it up the spine just to work out any kinks-any
large kinks-and get that connection to do between hips and spine because one of
the reasons we love to open our hips is because it really makes us feel freer
in our backs and once we get our things off our backs life is better if you’ve
done enough of those to feel a little bit more juicy just take it over to the
side a little pyramid pose for those of you like a little block action if this
is too deep for you right out of the gate please feel free to use the blocks
as you will need to otherwise hands can be on the floor but the idea here is
that are just going to be breathing probably about a one to one breath ratio
here as you just take that sense of space really feeling the foundation move
up to the legs down the back if you’re starting to feel I got enough stretch
going there flex that front foot again you may be on blocks here you may not be
on blocks that’s me unblock invisible block
and once you flex the front foot if you want that’s to get that gastrocnemius
that back calf muscle to get the other calf muscle the underneath one the
soleus you can bend the back knee keeping the knee right over the toe
keeping my hips pretty square thinking of my sit bones putting straight back to
the back wall on that upward diagonal and then relax my head so I can get the
maximum amount of length through my spine then we start to peel through the
feet moving all the way to the tippy tippy tip toe and then flex that front
foot again hands may be on blocks here if that if you need the support but cuz
right now I don’t I’m gonna use the floor cuz that’s just how it’s rolling
so really articulating all the bones muscles ligaments tendons of the feet to
connect and strengthen the feet the feet go all the way up to the hips you might
have noticed that about yourself and we want to make sure that we acknowledge
that connection as we do this series okay then you just peel all the way up
into a standing split now depending on where you are with your hamstrings it
may not be the highest or the deepest standing split you’ve got but take the
one you’ve got and work with that again hands maybe on blocks here after you’ve
held your spanic standing slip for a while just keep breathing inhale for
five six seven eight counts exhale the same amount and then we’re gonna start
to pull everything into the navel Center now you may notice in my standing split
I like an open hip here I think it’s very rare that a person can actually
pull off a standing split with square hips then to me it’s like just like a
warrior three with your board Bend for a split you really want to get into the
inner thighs a bit so that’s my preference and what’s worked for me over
the years and then exhale bend both knees pull everything into the navel
Center and then inhale extend it back out from the belly exhale pull it all in
and then inhale expand out from the belly so I’m really feeling everything
come into my Center feeling more centered and then expressing out through
the limbs so now I have a nice balance between my internal reality and reaching
out into my external world we’ll do one more of those at the same time I’m
getting this out tip of my standing legs and I’m starting
to actually feel this stretching then place that foot down on the ball of the
foot curl the toes under stretch out the feet hand to Kharis is on the floor here
or again on the block depending on you and then lift that other arm up you’re
stretching this outer hip here breathing through nice long spine
I call this Fosse asana Oh to Bob Fosse if you don’t know who he is you should
look him up so I breathe deeply through feeling that nice stretch gentle twist
through the spine then release that foot activating that inner thigh also getting
more stretch in that back hip then spin it around float it down to the floor and
then if you’ve seen some like the flow videos that I made slide it down into
pool boy pose so really feeling that sense of length through the side body
there hug the knee into the chest let that shoulder blade rise up so I can get
underneath my shoulder blade from there hold that a few breaths and then spin
yourself gently around to your lunge feel free to pad underneath your knee
with a blanket or flip your mat handy trick because you will be on your
kneecap for the deeper stretch if that your kneecap can’t take it or you need a
little easier way in you keep the toe up or down can control I when I curl my
toes under like this I can control what’s happening in my knee a little bit
more so if my knees feeling a little tender then I can take less weight on it
by having more weight in my toes otherwise top of the foot gives a nice
stretch there too after that you can grab the back foot either hand will do
today this is the one I’m choosing so you can press that knee if that heel
into the buttock if you can if not don’t worry about it if you get a cramp in
this back thigh that is your body telling you stop I’m not ready to for
you to grab me right now foot saying to your body stop not ready so listen to
your body or choose a different way but enjoy the cramp and press that in notice
that I’m not on kneecap at all I’m actually on the top
of my thigh I’m actually on my femur here so if you’re on your kneecap I’m
gonna say no that’s telling me that you need a little bit more stretch in the
quadriceps before this movement it’s really gonna mean much to you at all in
a happy way after that then rotate that front leg out into everybody’s favorite
pose pigeon rolled laid all the way down for me I’m not a big fan of putting a
block under the hip and doing it this way because it puts a lot of weight in
the knee and the ankle so I prefer they just lay the butt all the way down and
from there rolling on over that way my ankle knee and hip are all in the same
plane and I feel totally safe about not having gravity having this be like the
high heel shoe of my body putting all that weight into my knee joint am i
torquing my back absolutely not have you done ardha chandrasana you’re
in this position so there’s nothing to me everybody’s body is different but
this is much better I come from the land of the tight hip tribe so I understand
tight hips and if you are a bendy person this will not be you’ll feel I’m not
feeling anything then for horse pull that leg out square those hips off do
all those other things but if you come from the land of the type hip tight hip
people my people this will change your life and make pigeon a friendly place we
hold her a couple more breaths and then bring your body back up inhale take that
leg back to the lunge and now you’re ready to rock the hips back again pad
underneath your knee if you want to you will be on your kneecap here curl the
toes under if you need a little bit of pressure off hang here in half Hanuman
or half split and when you feel ready start to slide that heel out into your
split now if that doesn’t happen magically for you today it will over
time but this is where you can also bring in the heavy machinery and place a
block underneath this top buttock here or here which gives you a really great
place to hang out or use both blocks here and just hold yourself off the
floor use some shoulder awarenesses or you
could actually just hoist a crane from the top and have something hold you up
from the ceiling that also works if you happen to have one of those on hand
otherwise you’re down the splits for the bendy people of course grab the back
foot etc etc etc and then from there roll yourself open into oppa be stackin
asana oh yeah now you’re feeling the inner thigh love and just take a little
moment of a forward fold here for some of you you’re gonna go yikes not in my
not on my day today I’m just gonna hold back here press the pubic bone down just
just to feel the inner thighs this is not about feeling your back muscles
stretch it’s all about feeling juicy hips so as I stay here waiting for my
juicy hips to cook let’s share shall we okay I think we’re done slowly bring the
legs back in be slow there seriously it was deep and then we do the other side
so legs wide again again figure Eight’s you’re gonna feel way different this
second round because you’re way more juicy get deeper more lush if you like
jungle cat let all that melt off the back this we can let tension melt off
your back down your arms into the earth drain all that stress melt your brain
and then flow it around to the other side again pyramid pose here breathing
blocks optional I won’t demonstrate with them on this side feel that nice sense
of space that nice sense the breath really feel that length oh the relationship of head and tail
relationship of hips sit bones and feet flex the front foot to get some stretch
in the back calf front calf and then if you want to get that back Catherine
you’re going to go a little bit deeper just bend that back knee slightly it’s
not going to be a very big Bend okay the heel stays on the ground so don’t do
that job because you really want to get that calf muscle it may not feel like
much to some but you’re getting it stretched just the same interesting tip
the gastrocnemius which is the outer calf muscle your leg has to be straight
in order to get a stretch for the soleus which is the calf muscle that’s
underneath that’s underneath the grass gastrocnemius then he actually needs to
be bent for you to stretch it and then start to peel the feet tippy tippy tip
toes flex that front foot tippy tippy tip toes again finding that fluidity
between feet ankles and these hips allowing your spine to just follow so
I’m not trying to stabilize with my spine I’m just taking my spine for a
ride then peel it all the way up to standing splits breathe nice and deep
get hands maybe on blocks here feel free to open that hip because you really want
to get a sense of verticality a sense of that openness as as opposed to that
closed midline thing this is more of a side opening thing side of the legs that
is and then exhale bend it all and now you can feel that midline navel to the
spine back to the knees both legs Bend inhale float it back up and then exhale
pull everything into the navel like squeeze the light inside and an inhale
Express that light through your limbs feet hands head and tail pull it on in
exhale pull that light into the belly and then Express to the limbs and then
again bring it on into the belly Express through the limbs love that motion and
then pull it back on in tuck that toe behind Fossey asana feeling outer here
here so I am feeling a lot of action in this outer hip again feel free to put
your hand on a block here to bring the body up and you may opt to not lift the
arm if it’s just you’re feeling plenty otherwise lift the arm here give a nod
to Bob Fosse and jazz hands everywhere lift that back leg activate that inner
thigh go around the blocks that are floating there lay it back down slide
through that shoulder whoo yeah pool boy pose nice length of the side
body stretch it’s starting to connect the juiciness of the hips up into the
shoulders so by doing this practice you may feel more shoulder relief as a side
benefit bring it back around to the front now we’re into stretching the quad
again again lift the mat if you need to or want to this is courses for more flexibility this would be more stability
binding which would be building which would be a different type of practice
but you could modify of course keep breathing down deep into the hips can
use the back toe to modulate pressure on that back knee or for more connection
you’ve been a deeper stretch for me I put the flat of my foot down if you get
if you find you’re having a little cramp you foot days though toe under because
you know me feeling crappy cuz no cramps aren’t very comfortable and then bend
that back leg heel into the buttock stretch that quad even deeper again
notice that I’m not on my kneecap here I’m all the way on top of my thigh so my
knee is free and clear that’s what it feels good if you’re here I’m not
thinking you’re getting that much of more of a quad stretch than this okay so
go here guess we can do modified poolboy with your shoulder and then release
rotate that front leg out into pigeon again feel free to lay that hip all the
way down on the floor roll the opposite hip forward and then just gently walk
yourself forward breathe into the belly exhale the debris
out through the legs so that flow that juiciness through your belly hips knees
ankles and feet and then also feel that flow right coming floating off your
spine just let it go feel that flow now if you’ve had a few
breaths here of delight and he’ll bring the body up can also be grabbing the
back foot here if you want to bring the leg forward and then rock back for half
hanumanasana again you are on your knee here so I’d like to keep my toes under
for that reason so I don’t have to put so much weight on my kneecap this could
be fine this is we want to block up get your blocks ready heavy equipment or
then we can just slide out into the splits over time this too will be you in
your own unique way of course and then roll it open into loop Avista konasana
and then one more through the center so we just had juicy hips we worked our
splits enjoy you