The Splits or Hanumanasana have always held such a fascination for me. The sheer force of upward power of outreached vertical arms coupled with the immense grounding of legs split at the groin, creates a perfect symbiosis between the lower and upper regions of the body. It is challenging and energising on a physical level and one that, if mastered, gives a raw sense of self-belief. Most of us believe the Splits to be one of those poses that only really flexible people can do, like celebrity yogis, Olympic gymnasats, seven-year-old girls and those lucky enough to have two parents who were rubber bands.
Not so. It’s all about preparation through a well-mapped sequence of asanas that will lead to an attempt at this wonderful pose. Incremental lengthening of the muscles in the backs of the legs (the hamstrings) and the fronts of the legs (the quadriceps) will reap the dividends required to split - ouch! As always the breath cannot be ignored. A deep inhale needs to be followed by a long exhale as the lead leg slides forwards in small stages and the hips are released downwards.
Hanumanasana literally translated is Monkey Pose. It is beneficial for depression. The clocks have gone back, the days are darker, the weather is bitter and wet. If you’re feeling a little less bright and sunny then this pose is the remedy. It's a cheeky pose just like the Monkey God Hanuman.