Hanumansana is an intense stretch on the hips, groin, and hamstrings. It lengthens and strengthens the abductor muscles of the thighs (muscles which pull the limb away from the midline of the body; in this case, the gluteus medius and gluteus minimus) and massages the pelvic area, improving digestion and reproductive health. In reference to the subtle body, this asana stimulates the muladhara, or root chakra as the muladhara center is literally rooted down into the earth.
It may be many months or even years of practice for some to achieve the opening necessary to lower the pelvis all the way down to the floor. Be patient. Spend lots of time warming and stretching the hips and hamstrings before attempting Hanumanasana. When first attempting this pose, if excessive tension is encountered, support the weight of the body with the hands and try lifting and lowering the hips with the breath, moving toward and then away from your sensation to work toward the full version of the pose. Ardha Hanumanasana (half splits) and Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (standing splits) are both effective preparatory poses.
If you feel comfortable and stable with the palms in prayer, try extending the arms overhead. I like to interlace all but the first two fingers and thumbs to assist in broadening the shoulders. Keep the floating ribs tucked into the torso and engage mula (root) and uddiyana (navel) bandhas to tilt the pelvis forward and deepen your root connection with the earth. Keep the legs strong. Flex the front foot and press the heel into the ground. In the back foot, feel the tops of your toes digging down into the mat.
- Uttanasana (standing forward fold)
- Urdhva Prasarita Ekapadasana (standing splits)
- Anjaneyasana (Crescent moon pose)
- Eka Pada Rajakapotasana II (one-legged king pigeon pose 2)
- Ardha Hanumanasana (half splits)
- Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (one-legged king pigeon pose)
- Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana (one-legged downward dog)
- Hanumanasana (monkey pose/splits)
- Camatkarasana (wild thing/rockstar pose)
- Vinyasa through Eka Pada Adho Mukha Svanasana
- Repeat on the other side.