Hanumanasana – Pose of the month via Dan Wilf & Sonic Yoga (NYC)

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Honoring the hero of the epic tale the Ramayana, Hanumanasana embodies the epic qualities and devotion of lord Hanuman.

This full split pose takes the shape of Hanumanji’s great leap over the sea from India to Lanka to help save Sri Rama’s wife Sita from imminent danger.  While there are a myriad of variations and modifications, classically this pose features both legs in full extension – lengthening the hamstrings, glutes, as well as deeply stretching the groin and hip flexors among other key muscle groups.

This challenging asana is to be practiced with patience and determination. In an embodiment of Hanuman, we use this pose to explore the concept of devotion, and we do not push or force anything upon our body; we approach the experience with grace and poise so that the beauty of our essence, in all of its magnificent glory, can shine through. The practice of Hanumanasana provides an opportunity to explore this possibility each time we get on our mats. Wanna spice it up a bit? Try landing it straight through from handstand!

Check out step by step instructions and modifications for getting into this pose at Yoga Journal’s Pose Index

“It was the greatest leap ever taken. The speed of Hanuman’s jump pulled blossoms and flowers into the air after him and they fell like little stars on the waving treetops. The animals on the beach had never seen such a thing; they cheered Hanuman, then the air burned from his passage, and red clouds flamed over the sky . . .” – Ramayana, as retold by William Buck