This is an inversion pose. It’s also a balancing pose. Plus, the standing split is a great energizing stretch for the hamstrings. According to Dharma Mittra, in his book “Asanas: 608 Yoga Poses,” standing split is actually a variation of uttanasana. Born in Brazil in 1939, he can still demonstrate this pose, along with many other challenging balances and inversions.
His website lists ten great reasons to “go upside down.” Facing Fear. Refresh. Energize. Awareness. Strength and Balance. Concentration. Breath Control. Get Happy. Playtime. Confidence.
For those with balance challenges, standing split can be done with one hip to the wall, and one or both hands can reach for the ground, the wall, or a chair. Adapt to best suit your needs. As with any challenging poses, just do your best, and keep practicing.
“See yourself in the practice you are not able to access right now. Imagine yourself in it,” says Mittra. “Bury your mind deep in your heart, and watch the body move by itself.”
As with any inversions, do not lower the head below the heart if you have uncontrolled blood pressure. And, consult a yoga therapist to determine what is best suited for your particular physical and emotional well-being.