june asana of the momth: hanumanasana

each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons.

hanuman was a famous, mythical monkey chief in the timeless sanskrit epic ramayana:

“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…”(excerpted from the ramayana, as retold by william buck and quoted in yogajournal.com).

this asana is dedicated to lord hanuman, the powerful monkey chief, and commemorates his famous leap from the southern tip of india to the lankan islands (believed to be the present-day sri lanka).

hanumanasana (monkey pose or full split):
hanu=chin
hanuman= one with a jaw

benefits:
stretches the thighs, hamstrings, groins
stimulates the abdominal organs
may have therapeutic applications for sciatica
helps cultivate patience, discipline, and reverence

cautions/contraindications:
may be contraindicated for individuals with groin or hamstring injuries

preparatory poses:
baddha konasana
janu sirsasana
paschimottanasana
prasarita padottanasana
supta virasana
supta padangustasana
upavistha konasana
uttanasana


song that most comes to mind while in the posture:
captain beefheart’s “making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee”

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asana girl, aka danielle polen, is a tranquil space yoga teacher.

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