Hanumanasana (Splits Pose) is a challenging seated pose that requires the work of the hips and hamstrings while balancing the upper body on the pelvis. With the hips and the legs moving in opposite directions, the hip flexors and hamstrings need to be strong and flexible to attain the required balance and stability.
Hanumanasana is named after Lord Hanuman (Hindu Monkey God), hence also called the Monkey Pose. It is in relation to the heroic leap he took in search of Sita, in the epic The Ramayana. Keeping this in mind, while in the practice of Hanumanasana (Splits Pose) students should feel a sense of power and confidence, and should trust their body and strength to achieve the full split despite being a challenging one. An intelligent approach towards the Splits Pose is to practice easier hamstring stretch poses like Hanumanasana Variation At Wall (Standing Splits Pose Variation At Wall), Ardha Hanumanasana (Half Splits Pose), and the likes.
Benefits and Contraindications
Stretches the hamstrings, quads, groins and hip flexors
Strengthens the core muscles
Can help to prevent lower body injury
Hamstring, groin, low back injury
Photo poses in different angles
Pose Modification: Splits with 2 Blocks
Begin in low lunge with right foot forward and hands on blocks. Release left knee to the ground. Walk hands back with the blocks as you reach hips back toward left heel and lengthen right leg to runner’s lunge. Breathe here and slide right heel forward as much as feels comfortable. Breathe here at least 5 deep breaths. Come out of the pose slowly and repeat on the other side.
Pose Modification: Splits with 1 Block
Similar to the previous pose, begin in low lunge with right foot forward. Release left knee to the ground. Walk hands back as you reach hips back toward left heel and lengthen right leg to runner’s lunge. (Fingertips can be tented on the ground for extra space.) Breathe here and slide right heel forward as much as feels comfortable. Take a block of any height and place underneath right thigh above the knee, making sure to breathe comfortably. Breathe here at least 5 deep breaths. Come out of the pose slowly and repeat on the other side.
Be sure that you ease yourself into each of these poses, as they deeply stretch commonly tight areas of the body. Trying to force your body into these poses before you are fully ready can cause injury.
If you are feeling pain in your joints, or where the muscle attaches to the bone (i.e. knees, hips, sits bones, etc.), then back off the pose a bit or come out of it completely until the pain is alleviated.
- Low Lunge Back Leg Raised Splits Pose Prep
- Splits Pose Hands Blocks Front Leg Wheel
- Monkey Pose Forward Bend Bound Hands
- Monkey Pose Forward Bend
- Crescent Low Lunge Pose
- Pyramid Pose
- Half Splits Pose
- Downward Facing Dog Pose
- Splits Pose
- Child Pose