June Asana of the Month: Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose)

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. – Asana Girl (a.k.a. Danielle Polen)

full hanumanasana-sm

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):
Hanuman= one with a jaw


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



  • 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:

The Rolling Stones’ classic “Monkey Man

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