For centuries, yoga has been touted as one of the most effective practices for physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. Even in modern times, yoga is being practiced by people of all ages throughout the world. The best part about yoga is that it can be performed by anyone – thanks to the wide variety of yoga poses. Based on your fitness level, you can choose different yoga postures.
In this article, we are also going to discuss one of the oldest and popular poses you can try at home. It is none other than the Hanumanasana yoga pose. The pose is also known as the Monkey pose and is named after the Hindu God Hanumana.
As for the steps and other details about Hanumanasana, make sure you read this article carefully. We have created a quick guide to prepare you for the pose and help you master it with right techniques and precautions. Let’s start.
Hanumanasana Yoga: Myths and History
As mentioned before, this front-split yoga pose gets its name from a Hindu God. There is also a story associated with Hanumanasana. It is believed that this pose replicates the giant leap made by Lord Hanumana to cross the ocean.
Lord Hanumana took the giant leap from the Indian mainlands to the islands of Sri Lanka where Demon King Ravana had captivated Goddess Sita, wife of deity Rama. Thus, Hanumanasana is not just about strength and flexibility; it is also a symbol of great prowess and faith.
The pose is not mentioned in Hatha yoga but it does make an appearance in 20th century Modern Yoga. You can also find Hanumanasana in Iyengar yoga and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga of Pattabhi Jois. Nowadays, you can also find experts teaching this yoga in online yoga classes.
Benefits of Hanumanasana
Now that you know Hanumanasana meaning, it is time to learn about its benefits. Below, we have jotted down some of the best physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of Hanumasana. Take a look!
- Stretches Body
The pose is a front split and helps in stretching plenty of muscle groups. You can stretch your hamstrings, groin, hip flexors, arms, core muscles, and back through this single pose.
- Enhances Flexibility
By stretching the full-body, the pose also improves your overall flexibility. This, in turn, boosts your athletic performance and reduces the chances of injuries.
- Strengthens Muscles
You can also make your legs stronger by performing this pose on a regular basis. It improves the blood circulation in your lower body and this develops and strengthens the muscles.
- Better Balance and Stability
Balance is a big part of this yoga. While you do require body stability to do this yoga, performing it further improves your body’s stability and brings better alignment.
- Stimulates Abdominal Organs
It is believed that consistently practising Monkey Pose yoga can also improve digestion and boost the functioning of your reproductive organs.
- Improves Mental Health
Hanumanasana benefits your mental health as well. It can calm down your mind and effectively lower anxiety, stress, and insomnia.
- Balances Chakras
As for the spiritual level, Hanumanasana stimulates Chakras; namely Mooldhara (root) Chakra and Svadhisthana (spleen or sacral) chakra. The Root chakra helps in personal growth while the sacral chakra promotes focus, creativity, and inner acceptance.
It is an advanced pose and thus, requires a great deal of strength and flexibility. If you have been practicing yoga for years and can perform Hanumanasana prep poses such as Baddha Konasana, Janu Sirsasana, and Paschimottanasana, then you can easily practice this yoga.
Once you have a stronghold on these preparatory poses, you can learn how to do Hanumanasana. Below is a detailed guide on Hanumanasana steps and how you can do it properly:
- Start by kneeling on the floor. It is better to use a non-skid yoga mat to avoid slipping.
- Keep your spine erect and slowly extend your right foot forward with your soles straight and the heel touching the floor. Make sure that your toes are pointing upwards.
- Then, move your left knee backward. Your left sole should be facing upwards and your toes should be pointing parallel to the ground. Stretch both the legs and slide into a split position.
- Take a deep breath and as you exhale, raise your arms overhead. Join them in the prayer pose. Stretch your hands and bend your spine slightly backwards.
- This is the classic Hanumanasana pose.
- Stay in this pose for a few seconds and then bring the arms back.
- Release the pose and repeat by alternating the legs.
Note that it is not yoga for beginners. You can try some modifications or variations such as Ardha Hanumanasana or Half Hanumanasana, if you are unable to stretch your legs completely. This is also a preparatory pose and can help you improve your flexibility for the proper Monkey pose. That being said, it is always recommended to perform such yoga poses under an expert’s supervision to avoid any improper form or technique.
Below are some essential safety tips and precautions you should keep in mind. These can help in performing Hanumanasana without any injury or complications.
- Do not perform this yoga if you have groin or hamstrings injuries.
- For the preparation for Hanumanasana, always start the session with a warm-up, You can practice poses such as the Bridge Pose, Downward Facing Dog, Firelog Pose, and Standing Forward Bend or do the simple stretching exercises.
- Always wear comfortable clothes to allow your body’s free movements.
- Do not eat heavy meals at least 40 minutes before Hanumanasana or any other yoga session.
- Do not push your limits. Instead, try to modify the yoga by using bolsters.
- Make sure you pay proper attention to the pose and do not rush the movements as it can lead to injury.
- Pregnant women should also avoid this yoga pose.
No doubt that Hanumanasana is a tough pose but if you practice it under an expert’s supervision and perform it regularly, there are high chances you can master it in a shorter duration. And after mastering it, you can also add it to your home workouts without any worry.
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