Hanumanasana (Monkey pose)

Hanuman – Lord Hanuman, asana - pose

Pronounced as hah-NU-mahn-AHS-anna

Hanumanasana is an intermediate level yoga posture that derives its name from the giant leap made by Lord Hanuman from the southern tip of India to the island of Sri Lanka in the Ramayana.

Prerequisite:

Hanumanasana opens the hips and stretches muscles in the groin and hamstring region. Ensure to warm up yourself with some hip-opening exercises before getting into this pose.

How to do the Hanumanasana:

  • Start by kneeling on the floor with knees a little apart. Place your right foot forward and raise the inner sole such that only the outer heel touches the floor.
  • As you exhale, bend your torso forward and bring your fingertips to touch the floor.
  • Slowly, move your left knee backwards till the knee and the front of the foot touch the ground. Simultaneously slide your right leg forward till it touches the floor completely.
  • Sliding your left foot backward and right foot forward, come into a split position.
  • The toes of the right foot should be pointing skywards and the front of the left foot should be touching the ground.
  • Raise your arms and join your palms. Stretch your arms and arch your back a little.
  • Stay in this position for a couple of breaths before bringing your arms back down.
  • To come out of this posture, shift the weight of the body on the hands by pressing them on the floor. Slowly slide your left and right feet back to the initial position before repeating the pose with the left leg in front and right leg behind.

Benefits of Hanumanasana:

Hanumanasana stretches and strengthens muscles in the hamstrings, thighs and groin region. This yoga pose also stimulates the abdominal organs and improves their functioning. A regular practice of this pose ensures that the hips become more flexible over a period of time.

Contraindications:

Refrain from practicing this yoga pose if you have an injury in the hamstring or groin area. Do not force do a full split as it might harm the body. Respect your body's limits and stretch till where you comfortably can.

Beginner's tip:

This is an intermediate pose and even regular yoga practitioners may initially find it a difficult to perform a full split. You may place a blanket below your knees and ankles to avoid any pain or discomfort.

Follow up posture

Paschimottanasana

Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind bringing a lot of health benefits yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Sri Sri Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher. Find a Sri Sri Yoga course at an Art of Living Center near you. Do you need information on courses or share feedback? Write to us at info@srisriyoga.in

Founded in 1981 by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,The Art of Living is an educational and humanitarian movement engaged in stress-management and service initiatives. Read More