Whether you can slide right into Hanumanasana or Monkey Pose like an Olympic gymnast or if the idea of dropping into this pose strikes fear in your heart, we’re here to persuade you to approach the splits with a fresh perspective. Of course, there are modified versions to accommodate injuries or physical limitations, but some version can work for you. And dedicating time to master something seemingly impossible results in deeper lessons than the simply finding the posture’s full expression.
According to Hindu mythology, Hanuman, the monkey superhero, was the son of Vayu, the wind, and Anjana, a monkey woman. By stretching his front leg forward and pushing off with his back one, Hanuman could traverse long distances with powerful leaps. One renowned leap was during the battle of Lanka, when he leaped from the southern point of India to Sri Lanka to save Rama’s brother Lakshman from a mortal wound. Many stories about Hanuman impart lessons about love and unity.
Approach Hanumanasana with the symbolism of Hanuman, reaching further to save someone! This posture requires a methodical approach, with lots of care and attention. When we focus on learning a new posture, the benefits extend deep below the surface of muscle and bone. The practice takes patience, discipline, and consistency to move into the splits. Through the process of moving toward Hanumanasana, we tap into our inner dialogue and learn more about how we react to challenges. We don’t simply create openings in our physical body, we challenge our mind and spirit.
For those of you who can regularly move into the full expression of Hanumanasa, there’s still a benefit from slowing down and approaching the pose with a beginner’s mind. Perhaps you always enter the pose the exact same way––this week try one or all of these classes and see if you see the posture in a fresh light.
Regardless of whether you ever achieve full expression of the pose, you’ll stretch and strengthen the muscles in your lower body, quiet your mind, and honor Hanuman. Take the leap with us!
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