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Yoga Moves: Sliding Splits

Yoga Moves: Sliding Splits

This week’s move dynamically takes your legs to their end range, in front-to-back splits.

By YuMee Chung Special to the Star

While we Canadians usually go to great lengths to avoid slipping and sliding on icy streets, this week’s move uses the slick stuff dynamically to take your legs to their end range, in front-to-back splits, while building the strength and stability to manage your mobility.

Stand in a partial forward bend with your hands resting on a pair of sturdy yoga blocks, set shoulder-distance apart and at their tallest height. Wood or cork blocks are preferable to the less stable foam ones for this exercise.

Step your right foot forward a few inches and your left foot back the same distance, to set up your split. Slowly slide the right leg forward while simultaneously sliding the left leg back. Keep your chest lifted as you control the descent with your legs, using your hands as little as possible. Stop before you get beyond the point of no return and do your best to keep your hips relatively square.

Now, retrace your steps as mindfully as possible, using lower-body strength, rather than momentum, to powerfully scissor your legs closed.

Allow your legs to pass one another and complete the second side. Repeat the exercise five times on each side. Try this one at home wearing socks on hardwood or tile floor. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, try it with your feet on two paper plates or wrapped in plastic shopping bags. If you go with plastic, be sure to discharge any static electricity before touching the cat.

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