Leap into Faith with Hanumanasana

The Science behind the Hanumanasana:

When you begin to practice this asana, your focus will be on your front leg and how tight it feels. You will feel the urge to stretch your hamstrings as much as you can to get the flexibility this asana requires. However, you must keep in mind that this asana requires your front and back legs to be equally flexible. If the front leg requires suppleness in the hamstrings, the back leg has to be open enough at the hip flexors. 

After muscular stretching and energetic expansion in your legs, you will be able to balance yourself in this pose. Additionally, you can use the support of cushions and bolsters, but most importantly, you must use your leg muscles to support your pelvis. By hugging your inner thighs towards each other and pressing your legs down, not only will it help to stretch your pelvis up, but it will also help engage your hamstrings and support your joints. 

Just remember to keep your breathing right through all the muscular action.
It doesn’t matter whether your pelvis touches the floor or not; rather, is more important is that you protect your lower back, and stretch it only as much as it can go. The key is to always listen to what your body is telling you, stop when it asks you to, and breathe deeply. This is where the practice of Ahimsa (non-harming or non-violence) comes into play. Approach this pose with deep compassion and respect for your body; this pose is elusive for most and is fairly advanced.

Therefore, this asana will require patience!

Beginner’s Tips:

This is not a basic yoga pose, and it takes consistent practice to perform the split. When you practice this asana initially, you can use a blanket under your ankles and knees as well as one yoga block underneath each hand in order to make this posture be very supportive and safe in its early stages. In order to modify, you can increase the length of the torso by pressing the back foot into the floor; the pressure you put on your back foot will lift your shoulder blades and set them firmly on your back. 

The Benefits of Hanumanasana:

  • This asana helps to stretch as well as strengthen the muscles in the thighs, groin region, and hamstrings.
  • This asana also helps to stimulate the reproductive and digestive organs, thereby improving their functioning. 
  • With regular practice, this asana makes the hip flexors extremely flexible.
  • The back muscles are stretched and the lumbar spine is lengthened.
  • Being an intense stretch, this asana helps release stress and tension that is often stored in the lower body due to a long duration of sitting or standing.