One look at the samakonasana aka straddle split and you know it’s not for the faint-hearted. And if you have not embraced yoga with all your might yet, it may even appear as an unattainable pose, unless you are a gymnast or someone who naturally has open hips and joints.

his pose offers unique benefits. It helps open the hips like no other asana, opens inner thigh muscles and also helps strengthen the core and gluteus muscles, thereby improving circulation to the pelvic and abdominal region. Not to forget that it helps open those deep pelvic muscles that most of the exercises/ asanas don’t even touch. However, don’t get too excited and jump into attempting it now. Remember, it needs some preparatory poses before getting into one.

Straddle split is basically a full split where your legs are spread out to the sides at 180 degrees and your hands are forward in Anjali mudra, close to the heart center. “To get into this pose, first sit in dandasana and bring your hands to the heart in prayer position. Now open both your legs to the side, making a straight line, hold for 60 seconds and bring legs back to the same pose,” explains yoga expert Abhishek Sharma.
Here are five warm up postures you can use to help move you towards this posture. The asanas have been shot with certified yoga alliance teacher Mansi Mahajan.
Start by being on your four with your knees few inches apart and your feet right behind your knees; the palms should be directly under your shoulder. Now focus on a point between your hands while keeping your back flat. Next push your palms into the floor and keep dropping your shoulders away from the ears; push your tailbone back and head forward. Take deep breaths and hold this position. This will help stretch the spine.
Lie down on your back, then place your feet on the floor with your knees standing up. Make sure your feet touch. Now drop your knees on the sides and make sure your feet are together. Relax your upper body and feel the stretch in your inner thighs.
This is popularly known as the butterfly pose, which is often recommended for toning your thighs. Sit in a position with your legs outstretched on both sides, joining your feet together. Feel the stretch in the inner thigh and hip muscles. If you feel comfortable in this particular posture, you can try bending towards the feet joint.
Sit by facing the wall and open your legs into the straddle split. Move your bottom to the wall so your pelvis comes closer to the wall with your leg opening your legs farther.
It is the best hip opener that will make splits seem easy. Sit tall and spread your legs wide apart. Then slowly and gradually lift your chest to stretch your spine. Keep your toes erect to create some tension. Place your palm forward and walk your fingertips forward, bringing chest towards the floor. Take deep breaths and release into the pose.