Hanumanasana - A leap into the Unknown
Hanumanasana, or splits, is one of those poses that many people place firmly in the category reserved only for yoga teachers, dancers and circus performers. This isn't the case at all, here's why...
When I first started my practice, as a regular runner I calmly and happily told myself that splits was simply one asana that would never be in my repertoire, then I reasoned to myself it didn't particularly need to be. All the functional benefits in terms of hamstring and hip flexibility can be achieved in other variations, and i somewhat dismissed it as a dancer's pose; nice, impressive even, but ultimately functional unnecessary posture.
However, as my practice matured, I came to understand poses that i had once dismissed as not necessary to me, were actually a vital part of the repertoire, and that perhaps subconsciously (and ironically), it was my ego that classified them as such because I couldn't at that point understand their benefits.
I began to see health, and healthy movement, not as a series of contained and proper movements, that kept the body strong, but within its "normal" range, but as a wholly expandable concept, that explored what became possible without the integrity of the body being affected. Splits suddenly became something intriguing, a challenge, an orchestration of activation, of flexibility, mobility and of stability in the core. A question what truly was possible within the integrity of my system? It became a mindful dance, and an exercise in opening my possibilities to something a little less limitless.
Hanumanasana, is named for the monkey chief hanuman, and commemorates his famous leap from the southern tip of India, all the way to the Lankan Islands to help rescue the kidnapped Sita from the Demon King Ravana. When faced with the vastness of the Ocean, Hanuman was faced with a seemingly impossible obstacle, and his leap symbolises the faith required to take that leap into the unknown. He understood that the capacity we need is already held within us somewhere, and although many of us need reminding, with proper faith and devotion, your possibilities are amazingly endless.
Lucky for Hanuman he had the magical ability to change his size, and was able to make himself huge to perform the jump, a power most of us lack, yet through dedicated effort, we do have the capacity to re-organise our structure, our fascia, our neurons...our possibility.
Our bodies are the result of the life that we lived, and of the lives that our ancestors lived. They are the result of the believes that we hold about ourselves, and the way that we treat ourselves. They can be a cage, or they can be the most liberated of platforms. Hanumanasana asks you to take up that gauntlet and find your perseverance and move beyond what you once thought was impossible.