Some poses are just too challenging to dive right in without preparing for them first. Monkey God Pose (forward split) is no exception, and so several poses can prepare the body for this muscle defying pose. Most yogis will agree this pose requires intense dedication. In fact, the pose itself mirrors the monkey Hanuman's leap across an ocean in attempt to reunite two lovers. It's no wonder this pose is usually only achieved after deep dedication. This pose requires openness, and the ability to transcend physical limitations.
Standing Forward Bend is the perfect pose to begin preparing for Monkey God Pose. It will open the muscles in the legs, engaging the hamstrings and calves. It will also stretch the lower back. The next pose is Low Lunge Twist. Step the left leg back, and bend the right knee, coming into lunge. Then twist with the hands in prayer position. This will widen the hips and thighs.
Half Monkey God Pose means the body is getting closer to a full split. From the lunge position, straighten the front leg and flex the foot. Place the same hand beneath the thigh, and touch the fingertips of the other hand to the floor for balance. Bring the face as close to the leg as possible.
Pigeon Pose and Low Lunge are two additional poses to prepare for the full split. When it's time to give it a try, use blocks under the fingers if possible. Press the hands down and extend the torso and open the heart. This pose will engage the muscles on all sides of the legs. Lengthen the tailbone while extending the legs to lower the body to the floor.