I've received a number of requests to create an instructional video on hanumanasana (splits) and I've thought about it for a few weeks because I wanted to create something that would be thorough and helpful, but I wanted to ensure it would be safe for everyone to try. Eventually I realized that everyone is responsible for their own practice, and the only thing I can do to help people stay safe is to give fair warning. So here you go-
I had some hesitation with creating this video because of my personal experience with the pose. Even with my background in gymnastics, splits have never come easily to me. It's taken years and years of practice to get to where I am now, and they're still not perfect (insert reminder here that there is no such thing as a perfect yoga pose). This doesn't mean it will take you years and years, but I want to be really clear that they, like everything, take a lot of consistent practice.
It's extremely important to be honest with yourself when practicing splits. Find your edge, and work within your range. Believe me, pushing yourself too far is not worth it. I've done that before and wound up with an injury that didn't allow me to do yoga for about 6 weeks. Full breath and staying present with yourself is the key with splits (and all yoga, really).
This is going to be a two part video. The first, which you'll find below, is a yoga sequence to warm up the body for splits. Hanumanasana pose is not in it. The reason for that is because I feel it's really important to familiarize the body with a sequence like this a number of times before attempting a split. Hanumanasana will be in the next video, coming later this week.