Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose Or Splits Pose)

English Name(s)
Splits Pose Or Monkey Pose
हनुमानासन / Hanumanāsana
Hanuman: Lord Hanuman
Asana: Pose

Hanumanasana at a Glance

Hanumanasana is also known as the monkey pose, which is named after Lord Hanuman, who was famous for his incredible long jumps. Hanumanasana yoga pose resembles the powerful leaps that lord Hanuman made. Hanumanasana teaches you to take a big step in your life. This yoga pose helps us to be consistent, work hard, and be mindful and self-aware in pursuing our goals and working to achieve them.


  • This pose helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles.
  • It helps to strengthen your abdominal organs.
  • It strengthens your pelvic floor muscles.
  • It opens your hips and makes it more flexible.
  • This pose develops, self-discipline, mindfulness, and self-awareness, by being consistent.

Who can do it?      

This is an advanced-level pose, which needs a lot of consistent practice so advanced yoga practitioners can do this pose. Intermediate-level yoga practitioners can do this pose under the guidance of their yoga teacher. Athletes can do this pose to strengthen their lower body. Dancers can also do this pose to enhance their flexibility.

Who should not do it?

Beginners should avoid this pose. Individuals having any injury to their hips, legs, ankles or wrists should avoid this pose. People who had any surgery on their abdomen, hips knees, or any part of the leg, should avoid this pose. Pregnant women should avoid this pose. Women during their menstrual cycle should avoid this pose.

How to Do Hanumanasana?
Follow the Step-by-Step Procedure

This is a beautiful pose but needs to have a lot of practice and build up a base to get to this pose, which would take some time and depends on the individual and the dedication he has.

  1. To do this pose you need to do some warm-ups and preparatory poses, to avoid any injury.
  2. You can start this pose by kneeling on the mat and using an antiskid mat to avoid hurting yourself.
  3. Keep your knees a bit apart and take a deep breath, straighten and elongate your spine.
  4. Keep breathing and keep both your palms on the sides of your body, slightly away from your body.
  5. Inhale and slowly lift your knees and start sliding your right leg (heel forward) in the front direction and your left leg should be going towards the backward direction. Here you split your right and left leg.
  6. Exhale and extend both your legs, gently bring your hips to the mat and your legs touching the mat and both your hands are balancing the weight of the body.
  7. Your left thigh and right thigh resting on the floor.
  8. When you are comfortable on your hips and legs, you can bring your arms up in the Namaste position in front of your chest.
  9. Here in this position, the backside of the front leg, and the front part of your back leg (knee side) are on the mat (ground) and the toes of the back leg and the heel of the front leg touch the ground.
  10. You can hold this pose after you have a comfortable position for about a few breaths within your limit.
  11. Later when you are ready to release bring back your hands to support and balance and lift your hips slowly slide back your legs and relax for a while.
  12. After a few minutes, you can do the same procedure by reversing the legs.
  13. It may take a lot of practice to reach the final version, but possible if you keep practicing it daily and with confidence.
  14. Here for support and comfort, you can use blocks, soft cushions, rolled blankets to place them under your knee and thighs, and blocks under your palms.

What are the Benefits of Hanumanasana?

  • This pose helps to stretch your muscles like the hamstrings and hip flexors, arms, groin, and core muscles.
  • As this pose stretches your body parts, it helps to make it more flexible and helps to reduce the injury.
  • With regular practice, helps to improve blood circulation, which helps your legs and the whole lower part of your body get strong.
  • It helps to stimulate and activate your digestive system and your reproductive system.
  • It helps to stretch your back muscles and also improves your posture.
  • This full pose helps to develop discipline and boosts your confidence level.
  • It also helps to release stress and tension.

Health Conditions that Might Benefit from Hanumanasana

  • Practicing the monkey pose can help to improve the functioning of the digestive system, which helps with better digestion and keeps you away from bloating and constipation.
  • Practicing this pose can help to improve your flexibility, endurance, and muscle strength.
  • This pose can help with mild sciatica pain.
  • This pose can benefit the cardiovascular system, which can decrease systolic blood pressure, mean arterial pressure, and heart rate.
  • This can enhance the strength of the legs, for runners and sprinters.
  • This pose can help to lower blood pressure.

Safety and Precautions

  • People with hamstring injuries should avoid this pose.
  • If any chronic injuries just avoid this pose.
  • Do the warm-up and the preparatory poses before you start this pose.
  • Always do it on an empty stomach.
  • Do this pose where you have no disturbances?
  • Use props when needed.
  • Initially do the Hanumanasana pose under the guidance of your yoga teachers.

Common Mistakes

  • Avoid overstretching your legs by extending your limits.
  • Avoid twisting and keep your hips.
  • Avoid hunching your shoulders.
  • Don’t try to lean forward.
  • Not listening to your body.
  • Holding your breath.

Tips for Hanumanasana

  • Practicing this full split consistently is the best way to reach the final pose.
  • Use props like blocks, and soft cushions for better support.
  • Avoid rushing into the pose and be gentle while exiting the pose too.
  • Do the warmups and preparatory poses like the downward-facing dog pose.
  • Engage your muscles.
  • You can place a block, blanket, or bolster beneath your upper front thigh.
  • Let your back be straight and lengthened.
  • Follow the physical alignment principles.
  • Let your shoulders broad and chest open.
  • Respect your body and modify it if needed.

Physical Alignment Principles for Hanumanasana

  • Both the legs resting on the ground, slowly straighten and split.
  • Front foot (right foot) is flexed, right knee facing up, front heel (right heel) on the floor and toes pointing.
  • The top part of the back foot (left foot) is on the floor, the back knee facing the ground and the heels pointing up.
  • the left knee of the ground.
  • Hips are squared- Draw the back hip forward and the front hip back to level the pelvis.
  • Keep your core engaged and navel tucked to your spine.
  • Shoulder blades back and down and chest open.
  • Chest forward and lifted.
  • Upper body balancing on the pelvis.
  • Neck in line with the spine.
  • When your pelvis is misaligned, either because it is uneven or spills too far forward, your SI joint and lumbar spine become vulnerable to strain.
  • Roll your left inner thigh up toward the ceiling so that the thigh, knee, and toes of your back leg face your mat.
  • Gaze forward at a comfortable space.
  • Your hands are in the prayer pose or arms overhead.
  • Keep breathing continuously.
  • Use props if needed to keep up the alignment.

Hanumanasana and Breath

Breath is always the guide for the yoga asanas. It works the same for the Monkey Pose as well. Breathe deeply when in the kneeling position and ease yourself. Inhale and place your palms on the ground on either side of the body. Inhale and bring your right foot forward, exhale, and start sliding it. Again, inhale deeply and slide back foot with any exhale. Keep breathing and bring your both legs on the ground. Exhale and engage your core and slowly extend deeper down. Inhale and bring your hands in the namaskar position or lift and keep breathing. Breathe and hold the pose and feel the stretch.

Hanumanasana and Variations

  • Ardha Hanumanasana pose (half-monkey pose)
  • Eka Pada Rajakapotasana IV
  • Low lunge pose
  • Crescent lunge pose
  • Use props to support your hands and a soft cushion under your thighs.

The Bottom Line

Hanumanasana or the Monkey pose is a tough, challenging pose and a deep hip opener, but with consistent practice, you will eventually get into this pose. Use props if needed and do it under the guidance of the yoga teacher. For any injuries or surgery, consult your health care professional. Follow the physical alignment procedures to get a safer final version or the full posture of this pose.

Keep breathing as a guide to take this pose forward. Be slow and progress gradually. Do the warmup and the preparatory poses before you get into this pose. Hanumanasana pose will help build confidence and stability, which boosts your energy level and reduces your stress and anxiety levels.

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Meera Watts
Meera Watts is the owner and founder of Siddhi Yoga International. She is known worldwide for her thought leadership in the wellness industry and was recognized as a Top 20 International Yoga Blogger. Her writing on holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and other international magazines. She got the Top 100 Entrepreneur of Singapore award in 2022. Meera is a yoga teacher and therapist, though now she focuses primarily on leading Siddhi Yoga International, blogging and spending time with her family in Singapore.

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