Hanumanasana – The Monkey Pose
Hanumanasana or the Monkey Pose is named after Hanuman, the divine being resembling a Monkey in the Indian epic Ramayana. Hanumanasana helps to open up the groin and stretches the hamstring muscles. It is a wonderful pose for developing flexibility of the leg muscles.
For most of us, the thigh and groin muscles are usually stiff and therefore it is difficult to do this asana in the very first time. It is good to do some simple stretching and hip-opening exercises before attempting this pose. One can certainly master this asana with few days of steady practice and achieve the full-split position in due course of time.
How to do Hanumanasana (The Monkey Pose)?
- Sit in kneeling position on the floor.
- Take the right leg forward and place the right foot next to the left knee.
- Place both the hands (palms) on the floor in front for supporting your weight.
- From this position, take the left leg backwards slowly as far as you can. At the same time take the right foot as far forward as you can. The weight of the body should be supported by both your hands on the floor.
- Most beginners won’t be able to touch the buttocks to the ground in the beginning. That requires a little practice.
- Keep on practicing till the buttocks touch the floor. This may take several days to weeks. Do not strain as there can be considerable strain on the hamstring muscles and the groins. Do it little by little each day. In time you will be able to rest your buttocks on the floor.
- Once you reach the stage where your buttocks are touching the floor, you can shift the weight of the body to the legs and the buttocks. Slowly raise your hands place the palms together close to the chest, as in the Indian greeting position (“Namaste” position).
- Maintain it as long as you are comfortable.
- To release the asana, support your weight with the hands on the floor and bring the left leg forward. Sit with the legs extended forward. Massage the thigh and groin muscles if you feel any discomfort. Again, don’t overdo this asana or strain beyond your capacity.
- There are variations of Hanumanasana where the hands are raised above the head and the palms held together stretched above the head.
Benefits of Hanumanasana (The Monkey Pose)
- Hanumanasana is an excellent pose for developing flexibility of the leg muscles.
- It stretches the hamstring and groin muscles.
- It removes sexual ailments and helps women improve the health of the uterus for trouble free child birth.
- Hanumanasana improves the blood circulation in the legs and hips.