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Hanumanasana Yoga Introduction

Hindu culture is embedded with numerous mythological creatures and Hanuman is one of the most famous and important ones amongst them all. In the course of Ramayana he took a giant leap from the Indian lands to the Lanka Island in search of Sita. This leap is what this pose has been named after. It is also called the split pose or the monkey pose.

It is one of the advanced poses in yoga. It takes patience, practice and consistency to master this asana. It takes time and some support to get comfortable into this pose.  It is known to open up hips and tone the muscles in hamstring and groin region. Before you start performing this asana, always make sure that body is warmed up. This’ll prevent any serious muscle injuries. It is also advisable to do this pose on a soft surface like blanket instead of floor or yoga mat.

How to do Hanumanasana

Hanumanasana Yoga
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STEP 1: Before you get into the monkey pose, try warming up your hamstring muscles and quadriceps. This is one of the most important steps and will help you prevent any injury.

STEP 2: The next step is to kneel on the floor with your knees perpendicular to the ground and not far apart. Bring your hands to the ground in front of your knees and push your hand upwards such that you are supported by your fingertips.

STEP 3: Now, take your right leg forward and stretch it to its capacity. Make sure that the heel of your right foot is touching the floor and is flexed properly.

STEP 4: Now, take the left leg backwards and stretch it to its capacity such that the sole is pointed in the upward direction.

STEP 5: Now, start sliding your right foot forward while simultaneously sliding the left foot backward. You can use your hands to balance yourself.

STEP 6: Hold yourself in that position for 5-10 inhalations and exhalations.

STEP 7: Now, repeat the pose with your left leg stretched forward and right leg stretched backwards.

For this pose it is important to keep in mind the alignment of your legs. The hips should be parallel and close to each other. For beginners, it is generally recommended that this pose should be done under supervision of an expert.

For comfort, you may start this asana by starting with Anjaneyasana, the lunge pose or Ashwa Sanchalanasana, the horse riding pose. It may vary from person to person.

Benefits of hanumanasana

  • It acts as a very good workout for leg muscles
  • It is very beneficial in increasing the flexibility of the body especially of calves, hamstrings, pelvis and hips.
  • For women, it is a good exercise to relieve yourself of menstrual cramps
  • During hanumanasna, the organs in abdomen are massged optimally which helps to improve their functioning thus, improving your digestive health
  • This pose is very beneficial for people involved in sports
  • This asana is very helpful in treating and preventing sexual problems
  • During this position, the uterine muscles get tones which help women to ease childbirth
  • It is very useful in improving the health of your knees and ankles
  • It also provides an optimal toning to the back muscles
  • For someone suffering from stress and anxiety, Hanumanasana helps to calm the mind
  • Mooladhara chakra is one of the seven chakras present in our body. It is associated with the act of secretion of roughage from our body. Hanumanasana helps in balancing the Mooladhara chakra in our body
  • It also helps to balance out the nervous system in your body
  • Since, this asana is linked with one of the godly figures from Hindu mythology, it is said to provide you with a spiritual opening
  • It is also known to have an energizing effect on your body

Contraindications

  • Hanumanasana is not advisable for women who are pregnant
  • If you have had a hip replacement, this pose can cause you a lot of harm
  • People with leg injury should refrain from performing this pose
  • If you have pain in your groin area or hamstring, do not stretch beyond the limit of your body
  • For someone who has a shoulder injury, this pose can cause more harm than good
  • People who have pain in their lower back should avoid performing this asana

Alternative

This is an advanced pose in the world of yoga. Beginners may find it difficult to get to a full spilt initially. Forcing yourself to stretch beyond your body’s capacity may cause a severe injury.

You can start by practicing Ardha hanumanasana or half monkey pose. This will help you to decrease the stiffness in your body and increase the flexibility and over time, it’ll lead you to be more comfortable in hanumanasana.

Upavistha Konasana or seated split pose can also be practiced. This is advised for people who have very tight hamstring muscles. By stretching one leg forward at a time, it is more comfortable for beginners and helps to avoid any potential injury.

For more comfort, you may stuff extra blanket under your groin area.

Conclusion

Hanuman took a giant leap of faith from the mainland to the Island. That leap signified his strength, devotion and energy. Hanumanasana is known to empower you with those qualities. It is one of those poses that put to test not only your physical strength but also your mental strength and your dedication towards it.

It can be difficult in beginning but by making adequate changes and introducing variations, the flexibility and strength required for this pose, can be obtained in time.

It houses multiple benefits for your body and mind and when practiced daily, it can help you enhance your digestive system, nervous system, muscle strength and mental health. This pose signifies your leap of faith into the world of yoga.

Read our article on Yoga Diet for Weight Loss to know how diet plays an important in losing inches from your love handles.

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