Monkey Pose – or Hanumanasana
is a dynamically challenging advanced seated split pose. Hanuman was the son of Vayu – the wind God who had incomparable devotion to Lord Rama, through his selfless acts of love and kindness, he won the love of Lord Ramos family. Mother Anjana (Hanumans mother) was once a celestial maiden however was cursed into becoming a monkey and he curse could only be lifted if she gave birth to the incarnation of Lord Shiva! To which she did!
Hanuman has many stories and was a cheeky little monkey growing up – literally! Hanuman possess traits of intellect, courage tremendous strength, speed and the power to fly! Hanuman is especially know for his single stride from the distance between Southern India and Sri Lanka. This split-leg pose mimics his famous leap.
Here Are Our Tips —
The pose targets; hamstrings, glues maximus, calf muscle (gastrocnemius) adductors, quadriceps (sartorius, rectus femoris, pectineus, Tensor Fascia Late -TFL )
How to work towards this pose:
1. Start in a low lunge position with your right foot forward and your hands providing support framing you front foot
2 Bring your left knee to the ground
3. Walk your hands back so you stack your left hip above your knee giving you access to lengthen your right leg (know as half hanuman)
4. Holding pose for a minute or so breathing
5. As you maintain a straight front leg use blocks to support your hands and begin to lengthen your left knee until you meet a new range. Hold and breathe
6. Repeat on the other side
Forward folds are also a great way to length the hamstring but ultimately lunges are a better prep.
Reference: Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff