This beautiful pose is named after Hanuman, the monkey god. As the faithful servant of Rama, Hanuman leapt from the southern tip of India to Sri Lanka to bring a healing herb for his master Rama’s wounded brother, Laksmana, in a show of devotion. Likewise, the pose is a full split resembling this momentous leap.
The monkey pose opens the hip flexors and hamstrings as well as stimulating the abdominal organs. Avoid this pose if you have a groin or hamstring injury.
I like to practice the following poses, prior to attempting Hanumanasana, monkey pose:
• Baddha Konasana (bound angle pose)
• Janu Sirsasana (head to knee pose)
• Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend pose)
• Prasarita Padottanasana (wide-legged forward bend)
• Supta Virasana (reclining hero pose)
• Supta Baddha Konasana (reclining bound angle pose)
• Supta Padangustasana (reclining big toe pose)
• Upavistha Konasana (wide-angle seated forward bend pose)
• Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (upward extended feet pose)
• Uttanasana (standing forward bend pose)
• Virasana (hero pose)
After practicing Hanumanasana, you will find that eka pada rajakapotasana (one-footed pigeon pose), natarajasana (king dancer pose), paschimottanasana (seated forward bend), and upavishta konasana (wide-angle seated forward bend pose) can be attempted with greater ease.
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