July – Hanumanasana
Hanumanasana has got to be in my top 5 favourite poses, if not my most favourite pose of the moment. I absolutely love this pose, I comes so naturally for me and is usually just a very comfortable pose for me to be in. Of course there are days when I feel tighter and need to warm p a little to get into it, but generally it is easy for me and I feel like it’s a beautiful expression in my body. I am so passionate about this pose that I feel like a have a whole bunch of students who come to my classes with the intention of working on their hanumanasana. When I teach this pose, I always take the class through a whole lot of warm up so that their hamstrings are really warm and they have the best chance possible of easing into the pose. It’s so amazing to see students who once were nowhere near full hanuman, over time actually make their way into it. I have at least 5 students who once had such tight hamstrings they could barely do the modified variation, now they can get into it no problem at all. So to get into the pose, after a good deal of hamstring warm up, come into a lunge position with your back knee on the ground. Put more weight into your back knee and straighten your front leg. Draw your hips back and heart forward and begin to hinge from your hips. From this point check in with how you are feeling here, if you feel a deep stretch, don’t go further just yet. If your hands are significantly far away from the ground, rather than curling your back to get your hands on the ground, bring your hand to your shin (same side hand as forward leg) and rather than leaning your weight into your shin, push your shin into your hand, doing this will help to keep your quadricep strong and avoid any hyper extension in your knee. If you are feeling open enough you can release your fingertips onto the ground. Once you find the best spot for you, you can a) stay still and really feel the stretch you are receiving, b) move with our breath, inhales lengthening you, exhales softening you deeper into the pose, or c) lengthen your pose, moving your forward leg more forward coming towards full hanumanasana. If you are somewhere in between and your hips are pretty close to the ground, but not quite there, use a yoga block or a rolled up blanket to rest on, remember when you have the chance to relax into a pose rather than push yourself, you will have a better chance of going deeper. Try it out, with the hot July weather, you never know, your hamstrings may be a whole lot warmer than you’re expecting!!