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Benefits of Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

One of the famous yoga philosophy experts, Gerald Larson says that yoga is older than recorded history. Yoga is one of the earliest implementations of scientifically justified research on the relationship between the mind and the human body. In recent days, modern yoga has been seen all over the world. Various yoga studios implement distinctive yoga styles and give teachings to others. The word yoga translates to discipline. Psychosomatic, neo-Hindu, postural and meditational are some modern yoga types.1 Yoga consists of mudras (gestures), pranayama (breathing techniques), and asanas (postures). Let us look at some of the health benefits of one such asana, hanumanasana. 

What is Hanumanasana 

Hanumanasana is also called the Monkey pose. It is a yogic name for the front split. Lord Hanuman was famous for his leaps, as he could jump over incredibly long distances. Hanumanasana helps stretch and strengthen the muscle in the thighs, hamstrings, and region of the groin. This hanumanasana depicts the long leap of lord Hanuman. 

hanumanasana

How to do it? 

Hanumanasana steps are given below:  

Step 1: Half Splits 

It is better to start with half splits, ensure that your hips are square, keep your front leg straight, and your back leg bowed, and keep your weight evenly distributed between both legs. Next, stretch your foot, push away with your heel, and bring your toes toward you to activate your straight leg. Gradually move your body closer to the front leg and with an extending back. 

Step 2: Low Crescent 

Next, move your front foot away and gently bend your front leg. Keep your hips dropping towards the ground but keep them square and aligned with your shoulders. If the pose is tough, you may hold on and take some long deep breaths. 

Step 3: Extend both legs 

You can repeat the above steps till you are perfect with it. Keep your hips square, do not let yourself fall to one side, and have a proper balance. Keep your torso aligned with your hips. Hold in this pose for several breaths and relax. 

Step 4: Hanumanasana 

By doing the steps mentioned above, you are in the hanumanasana pose. Relax in this position and take deep breaths.2 

From what I’ve seen, Hanumanasana may offer several benefits. One of its advantages is that it may massage the abdominal organs and might also help tone the reproductive system. Additionally, stretching the pelvic area also increases suppleness in that region. These benefits might contribute to improved physical well-being and may also enhance the overall charm of yoga.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do You Know? 

Some of the interesting facts about hanumanasana are: 

  • Ravana kidnapped Lord Rama’s wife, Sita. King Ram sent Lord Hanuman to rescue his wife. Lord Hanuman took a gigantic leap from South India to Sri Lanka to rescue Sita. This is the reason why this asana got its name, hanumanasana.2 
  • Hanumanasana is an advanced posture and can be combined with Anjali mudra (prayer gesture) 

Benefits of Hanumanasana: 

Some of the hanumanasana benefits are: 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for Muscle Strength and Flexibility 

A study by Singh et al. in 2015 showed that a yoga protocol consisting of hanumanasana might help to improve muscle strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Agility refers to the muscle’s ability to change position quickly. Endurance refers to the power of the muscles to contract against a force for a long period. This may enhance sports performance.3 However, further studies are required to check if hanumanasana can help to improve muscle strength and flexibility. 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for Hip and Legs 

Yogacharya Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani and Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani explained that the regular exercise of asanas, including hanumanasana, might reduce the back, hip, neck, shoulder, and knee-related problems in the dancers. However, more studies are required to check the benefits mentioned above. Consult your doctor if you have any injuries, and do not self-medicate.4,5 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for Heart Rate 

Yoga protocol that includes hanumanasana might help in maintaining the heart rate.6 However, more studies are required to check if hanumanasana can help to maintain the heart rate. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you have an abnormal heart rate. 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for Managing Blood Pressure 

Yoga protocol that includes hanumanasana might help to lower blood pressure.6 However, more studies are yet to be done to confirm if hanumanasana can help to reduce blood pressure. Therefore, you must consult your doctor in case of abnormal blood pressure instead of self-medicating. 

Benefits of hanumanasana for heart diseases 

High BMI (body mass index) often becomes a risk to the heart and may disturb heart function. BMI is the measure of body fats in terms of height and weight. Yoga protocol that includes hanumanasana might help lower BMI, reducing the risk of heart disease.6 However, more studies are required to check whether hanumanasana can benefit from heart diseases. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of heart disease. 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for peptic ulcers 

According to the study by Jogdand et al. in 2000, regular implementation of a yoga protocol, including hanumanasana, may be beneficial for people with peptic ulcers.7 However, more studies are required to check if hanumanasana can benefit people with peptic ulcers. Therefore, you must consult your doctor in case of peptic ulcers. 

Benefits of Hanumanasana for sciatica 

Sciatica is the pain in the sciatic nerve that runs down the back, hips, and outer part of the legs. Hanumanasana may help to reduce the symptoms of mild sciatica.7 However, more studies are required to check if hanumanasana can be beneficial in relieving symptoms of sciatica. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if your sciatica symptoms do not improve or worsen. 

Regular yoga implementation may help to control the body and mind. In a few cases, yoga may be an alternative to modern medicine. But do not depend completely on yoga; consult your doctor if you have any health problems. If you want to learn yoga, implement or do the exercise with a trained yoga teacher. 

I would advise using a cushion or folded blanket under your pelvic area when practising Hanumanasana if you’re unable to lower your body to the floor. This might offer support and may help alleviate any strain as you work on improving your leg and hip flexibility.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Risks of Hanumanasana 

Some of the risks associated with hanumanasana are: 

  • You must avoid doing hanumanasana if you are suffering from a hamstring injury. 
  • It would be best if you were very careful while bending your knees, as it may cause injury to the tendons and ligaments of the knees7 

You must perform hanumanasana under the guidance of a professional yoga teacher or trainer to avoid any risks related to hanumanasana. 

Also Read: Do Saunas Help You Lose Weight? A Detailed Look Into The Science Behind It

Conclusion 

Hanumanasana is also called monkey pose yoga. It is a yogic name for the front split. Lord Hanuman was famous for his leaps, as he could jump over incredibly long distances. Hanumanasana may help to lower the heart rate and blood pressure. It may decrease the BMI and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease. Hanumanasana may improve muscle strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Hanumanasana may reduce the risk of hip and leg injury in dancers and help to tone the leg muscles. Additionally, it may benefit people with peptic ulcers and help relieve mild sciatica symptoms. You must avoid doing hanumanasana if you are suffering from a hamstring injury. It is advised to do hanumanasana under professional guidance. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) What are the benefits of the hanumanasana yoga pose? 

Hanumanasana may help to lower the heat rate and blood pressure. It may decrease the BMI and therefore reduce the risk of heart disease. Hanumanasana may improve muscle strength, flexibility, agility, and endurance. Hanumanasana may reduce the risk of hip and leg injury in dancers and help to tone the leg muscles. Additionally, it may be beneficial for people with peptic ulcers and may help relieve mild sciatica symptoms.3-6However, you must consult your doctor instead of self-medicating if you have any symptoms of the mentioned diseases. 

2) How to do the hanumanasana pose? 

To begin, do half splits. Make sure your hips are square, your front leg is straight, and your back leg is moved back, and balance your weight between both legs. To activate your straight leg, stretch your foot, push away with your heel, and bring your toes toward you. Bring your body gradually closer to the front leg. After that, forward your front foot and slightly bend your front leg. Next, maintain a downward hip drop while keeping your hips square and aligned with your shoulders. Then keep your hips square and your torso aligned with your hips. Hold in this pose for several breaths.  

3) What is monkey pose yoga? 

Hanumanasana is also called the monkey pose. Lord Hanuman was famous for his leaps, as he could jump over incredibly long distances. Thus, hanumanasana depicts the long leap of lord Hanuman.2 

4) What are hanumanasana preparatory poses? 

Baddha Konasana, Paschimottanasana, Upavistha Konasana, Urdhva Prasarita Padasana, Prasarita Padottanasana, Janu Sirsasana, Virasana, Supta Padangusthasana, Supta Virasana, Uttanasana, Supta Baddha Konasana are some of the preparatory poses for hanumanasana. 

5) What are the risks associated with the monkey asana? 

You must avoid doing hanumanasana if you are suffering from a hamstring injury. It would be best if you were very careful while bending your knees, as straining may cause damage to the tendons and ligaments of the knees.7 It is advised to do hanumanasana under professional guidance. 

References: 

  1. De Michelis E. A history of modern yoga: Patanjali and western esotericism. A&C Black; 2005 Dec 8. Available from: https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=4HTUAwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PR5&dq=yoga+in+western+culture&ots=noxLg3DsVw&sig=oQNggO34iFOWcRNXUfxSJQ_V7wc 
  1. Watkins H. The story behind Hanumanasana/Monkey Pose [Internet]. Balance Garden. Balance Garden; 2020 [cited 2022Nov7]. Available from: https://www.balancegarden.co.uk/blog/hanumanasana 
  1. Singh T, Singh A, Kumar S. Effects of 8-week of yoga training on muscular strength, muscular endurance, flexibility and agility of female hockey players. TIJ. Res. J. Soc. Sci. Manag.. 2015;5:97-9. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sandeep-2/publication/287217742_Effects_of_8Week_Yoga_on_Muscular_Strength_Muscular_Endurance_Flexibility_and_Agility_of_Female_Hockey_Players/links/5674755108aebcdda0de253e/Effects-of-8Week-Yoga-on-Muscular-Strength-Muscular-Endurance-Flexibility-and-Agility-of-Female-Hockey-Players.pdf 
  1. BHAVANANI YD, BHAVANANI YS. Bharatanatyam and Yoga. Pondicherry-13, South. 2001. Available from: http://icyer.com/documents/29.pdf 
  1. Kabir M. Fitness & yogic therapy. Yogic Therapy for different Diseases. 2021. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/353764706_Fitness_yogic_therapy 
  1. Hanumanasana [Internet]. The BioMedical Institute of Yoga & Meditation. 2022 [cited 2022Nov7]. Available from: https://biyome.com.au/yoga/asana-manual/hanumanasana/ 

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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