In the standing splits – utthita eka pada hastasana – you can experience a clear and different connection of strength. By pulling the whole body back to the lowest point of the spine at the tailbone and centring it there, a new, ascending force can be released as a result, which raises the other leg and the whole spine from the lowest point of the spine upwards or literally pulls it upwards. You don’t primarily straighten up and lift the leg upwards from the strength of the muscles, but you actually pull back with the force and notice how the leg rises upwards easily and freely as a result, as if by itself against the force of gravity.

‘The graceful and upright leg position stimulates the ability of the whole body to straighten up. The centre of straightening is initially at the lowest end of the spine. (…). The body itself, although it straightens up gracefully with the legs, draws itself together in its earthly being to a centre, so to speak, and the person becomes noticeably more humble. In this effort to straighten up, which arises from a contraction in the centre of the body or in the two lower energy centres, lies the outstanding and instructive significance of this asana.’

(Heinz Grill, The Soul Dimension of Yoga)

The leg and upper body straighten from the punctual centring and contraction in the lowest sections of the spine

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