Hanumanasana: How To Do It, Benefits And Precautions?

Hanumanasana also known as front splits is a great stretch of legs, especially for athletes who are standing, walking, or running for a long period of time and usually have tight hamstrings. This asana stretches the hamstring, calf, and ankles and opens the back of the knees. Hanuman asana refers to the position in which lord Hanumana, son of Vayu, god of winds, from the epic scripture Ramayana was famous for his impressive and powerful leaps. He once jumped taking a huge leap over the ocean to Sri Lanka and for that, he had to take a leg forward and his back leg was straight backward and the same posture is now known as Hanumanasna or front split

How to do Hanumanasana?

  • Get into a low lunge position : Start with samasthiti or tadasana. Raise your hands up to urdhva vrikshasana, bend forward to uttanasana, from here touch both the palms down and take the left leg back to a low lunge position. Make sure the right knee is bent 90 degrees and the left knee is on the floor
  • Ardha hanumanasana to deep low lunge: It is important to prepare before we perform this asana as it may injure you if done without any warm up. Straighten your front leg with only heels on the floor. Bend forward on the right leg trying to touch the head to right knee and this will give a great stretch to the right hamstrings. Now bend the right knee again and shift the left knee further behind to get into a deep low lunge to stretch your hip flexor muscles. Repeat this movement 5 to 6 times
  • Active movements: In the low lunge position straighten your front leg bend forward and place your hands on either side of your right leg. Now using your leg strength lift your right leg up and stay there for 10 -15 counts. Similarly, now bend the right leg and come into the low lunge position and take the left knee off the floor with the left leg straight back and hold it for 10 -15 counts. Repeat each of these 3-4 times. These active movements will help relax the back muscles of the front leg and the front muscles of the back leg.
  • Getting into Hanumanasna: Once you have done all the above, getting into a posture will be easier. Come into the low-lunge position, come on the heels of the front leg and slide it forward to your own extent and at the same time push the back leg backward to straighten and touch the thigh to the floor. Now raise both hands up and join your palm or just join the palm in front of the chest.
  • Repeat this from the other side: Now to balance it out do the same on the other side by switching the legs. You can either jump switch the leg or come back to uttanasana and then take the right leg back and start with a low lunge position

Hanumanasana Precautions

If you are an absolute beginner, then please use props like blocks and a cushion under the knee etc. This posture is an advanced posture and demands a great amount of hamstring and hip flexor flexibility. So, it is recommended that you first work on your forward and backward bends. Example as a part of warm up do variations of uttanasana, parshvottanasana, Paschimotananasa, Ustrasana, Dhanurasana, Shalabasna. Also include some active movements like uthitha hasta padhangusthasana C, or hold the single leg boat pose using quad strength, back bends without support like locust pose, or cobra pose with hands off the mat. Note that in backbends, more than your back, you have to work on the back of the legs like hamstrings and calves, so choose the variation accordingly. You can also do a backbend in Hanuman asana as a variation, make sure your lower back is safe and feels no compression. People with hamstring injuries should not do this pose.

Hanumanasana Benefits

  • Improves the hip mobility as it stretches the hamstring muscles, quads, psoas and the hip flexors
  • Psoas muscle is also known as the storage of emotion, stretching allows a person to be emotionally stable.
  • Improves knee mobility and strength.
  • This posture helps fix the misalignment of spine-like hyperlordosis or hypolordosis.
  • Great stretch for Athletes

This also helps people with sciatica issues

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