Hanumanasana 

Seated Asanas

Hanumanasana 

Lord Hanuman/Split Pose

(ha-nu-ma-na-sun)

Meaning: hanuman = Lord named Hanumana

Preparation

Sit in Vajrasana, both palms on your knees. Keep your neck and spine straight. Adjust knees, calf muscles, and ankles to avoid leg pain. Inhale, exhale, and relax.

Getting into position

Come up onto your knees. Step the left foot forward. Lean forward and place fingers on the floor at your sides. Inhale. Exhaling, slowly slide the right knee backward (knee facing down) and the left leg forward (knee facing up) holding most of your body weight with your hands. As the legs straighten, keep the left knee cap facing upward and the right knee cap on the floor. Hold for a few moments to allow the body to adjust. Inhale. Exhaling, stretch farther until the pelvis is on the floor; both legs are straight (do not twist the legs or hips, and do not bend the knees). Bring the hands into Namaste Mudra (Prayer Seal) at the chest or raise the arms upward, keeping the spine straight. For a more advanced position, raise the arms over head, bend backward, and look up; or bend forward to the front knee. Hold with normal breathing for as long as comfortable.

Coming out of position

Slightly relax the body. Place your hands on the floor on either side of your hips. Exhale. Inhaling, use your fingertips to lift your pelvis off the floor (round your back slightly to lift higher), and carefully walk your front leg back to a bent position (using the front heel) while walking your rear foot forward to a slightly bent position (using your toes). Come back to a kneeling position. Inhale, exhale, and relax. Repeat on the other side.

Tips

  • To lengthen the spine, press the top of the rear foot actively into the floor and lift the shoulder blades as high as comfortable.
  • Keep the hips square, spine straight, and chest open.
  • If needed, place a folded towel under the pelvis for support in the final pose.

Precautions

Avoid

If you have chronic/serious hip or knee problems.

Be careful

If you have pelvic, hamstring, sciatic nerve issues, diarrhea, constipation, or get dizzy easily.

Benefits

General

  • Opens the chest, hips, and pelvis.
  • Stretches shoulders, abdomen, hip flexors, front and back of thighs, and ankles.
  • Strengthens arms, shoulders, back, abdominal, glute, and calf muscles.

Therapeutic

Helpful for sciatica.

Variations

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