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Side Splits

MichaelJ2010-07-04 17:44:04 +0000 #1
Hello everyone,

This is my first post here and am hoping to learn from all of you. Although I practice Yoga almost daily (10-90minutes), martial arts is my primary activity and passion. There is a lot of crossover in training (flexibility, breathing, chi gung, strength exercises).

I have studied yoga under the supervision of instructors previously but now am just practicing on my own. I generally follow along with cd’s or dvd’s.

For my martial arts practice, I am working toward achieving a side split. I would welcome any suggestions from a yoga point of view on the best/fastest way to accomplish this goal.

Thanks

Michael
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 17:45:52 +0000 #2
Hello Michael and welcome to the board.

I want to answer as gently and mindfully as possible.

While I am uncertain what a "side split" is the question you ask is an anatomical question and not a yoga question.

Additionally yoga comes from a perspective of experiencing rather than accomplishing so it is very difficult to conjure up a "yoga answer" to your inquiry as I am not in the habit of instructing students how to get somewhere quickly but rather how to enjoy the juice of getting there no matter how slowly the going is.

Typically that which is done rapidly (in a yoga context) is not as easily felt as that which is done slowly. Yoga that is not felt, one could assert, is not yoga at all. So I'm more accustomed to slowing students down to counter-balance the lack of mindfulness and awareness germinates from hurry.
Hubert2010-07-04 18:08:58 +0000 #3
A balanced yoga practice, without overstretching, following a natural progression of asana will slowly (months, maybe years depending on where you start, what your age is, what is your diet) increase the mobility of the hip joint, and that of the hamstrings, what is essential to perform side splits. But there is more to it ... dynamic mobility is what you need for martial arts, meaning the stretch is performed by the strenght of the antagonist muscles. I heard that this kind of mobility cannot be develeoped after a certain age (twentysomething) but that might be a gym myth.
vibes2010-07-04 18:30:54 +0000 #4
Inner Athlete has a very good point. To really benefit in Yoga we need to be in the moment and enjoy the process of moving to our comfortable levels. As soon as we have a goal, it becomes a stress or inner pressure to achieve something. The true benefits are in the process not in the posture. Just imagine if I forced you with the aid of 2 tuff hitmen pulling your legs into splitz. I do not feel there will be much benefit in that. Also, as long as your martial arts are free from goals, you will improve in martial arts to. In good self defence it's essential to be in the moment. This is of more use than the splitz. I suggest enjoying a banana splitz instead (yum) and chilling out.

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