November: Splits/Hanumanasana

This month we will be working on getting into the splits or monkey pose/hanumanasana. Hanumanasana is great for stretching and strengthening your hamstrings, thighs, groin and back muscles. This pose will aid in opening the flexibility in your hips as long as you practice it with the proper form and consistency. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Always warm up prior to attempting a deep posture such as this one. Start with some high lunges, low lunges and maybe get into your hips with some lizard or pigeon pose. Make sure your hips, hamstrings and lower back are nice and loose.

  2. Start in a kneeling position and step your right foot in front of you so that your leg makes a 90 degree angle. There should be the same distance between your right hip and knee as there is between your right foot and left knee.

  3. Place your fingertips on the floor in front of you on either side of your right foot and lean forward.

  4. Slowly slide your left leg back behind you making sure it stays straight and doesn’t veer off to the left or right.

  5. As you are straightening your left leg back, straighten your right leg out in front of you.

  6. Keep both hips square as you straighten both of your legs.

  7. Just before you reach your maximum depth, bring your left knee to the ground for support.

  8. NOTE: If you need to place a block or two under your front hamstring for support, do so.

  9. Make sure you are turning both thighs inward so your front foot is pointing up to the sky and not out to the side and your back foot is straight.

  10. Hold the pose for a few breaths, then, with your fingertips on the floor, press up, bending your knees to come out.

  11. Repeat on the other side.

This posture can take a lot of time and patience to come to the full expression. Always warm up and use props when needed for extra support!