Monkey Pose aka Hanumanasana or Full Splits is a deep stretch for the groins and hamstrings. Keeping your muscles engaged, a straight spine and steady breath is key to receiving all the benefits this pose has to offer.
Start by kneeling on the floor with the thighs, knees, shins, ankles, and feet are hip distance apart. Tops of the feet lay flat on the earth.
Lengthen the right leg out in front of you with the heel on the ground and the toes flexing towards your face.
Lean the torso slightly forward and press the fingertips into the earth or the palms of the hands on blocks next the hips.
*Modifications: Place two block on either side of your hips. Use the block on the highest or medium setting and press your hands or fingertips into the block to try to get a long, straight spine.
You may also place a block or folded blanket under your right buttock for support.
Straighten the right leg without locking out the knee. Gently start to slide the right heel forward. Rotate the right inner thigh towards the earth so that the kneecap faces the sky. Simultaneously, slide your left leg and knee in back of you. You can tuck the back toes if you want some extra stability. The left leg is straight in back of you and no splaying out or turned inwards.
Try to get the hips even and square to the short edge of your mat.
If this is not too strenuous bring the torso perpendicular to the ground. The hands can come to prayer at the heart, Anajli Mudra, or you can extend the arms up to the sky.
Soften the gaze towards the horizon.
To get out of this posture, press the hands into the floor and open up the right leg slightly. Slowly draw the right heel and back leg towards the torso. Come back to the initial kneeling position. Repeat with opposite leg in front
- Stretches the hamstrings, quads, groins and hip flexors
- Strengthens the core muscles,
- Can help to prevent lower body injury
- Hamstring, groin, low back injury