The splits pose, also known as “Hanumanasana” in Sanskrit, was named after Hanuman, who was a monkey God. Hanuman had unlimited power & potential, but he had for some reason, forgotten. When Hanuman put his mind to things he could achieve anything! But the problem was, Hamunman didn’t believe in himself nor fully grasp how powerful he truly was. He represents the part of ourselves that has forgotten our own inherent power.
Hanuman was a servent of “Rama” which means the divine or god, but he was also a man, a good man married to a beautiful princess, called Sita. As the mythical story goes:
Ravana an evil king with ten heads, heard of Sita’s beauty & goodness & kidnapped her, hiding her in the island of Sri Lanka.
Rama searched many months for Sita. Finally, he asked Hanuman, the king of the monkeys, for help.
Hanuman doubted himself, not knowing if he could be of any help? “How could I possibly help?” He thought, “A plain old monkey like me?”
But inspired by his faith & devotion for Rama, he decided to try. He took a LEAP of faith & did the splits, with his monkey legs, creating a bridge for Rama to cross to find Sita. If it wasn’t for Hanuman, leaning into his fears, having faith & giving it a go. Sita wouldn’t have Been saved.
Each Character in these stories represents an aspect of our enlightened mind or more simply said; an aspect of ourselves.
Hanuman is a symbol of the mind that has become disciplined & filled with devotion & faith. He is the evolved state of our monkey mind that constantly jumps from thought to thought. He represents us, in those moments where we may have forgotten our true nature too.
What allows Hanuman to have this vision? It is faith. This faith is the origin of five essential levels of spiritual practice. Hanuman is, therefore, the manifestation of faith that gives us strength, which transforms our memory & leads us through samadhi to perfect wisdom.
When practising Hanumanasana, I recommend ample time to warm up, lots of hip openers first & the use of blocks! The most important thing when doing splits is to keep your hips level & square & to BELIEVE IN YOURSELF, like Hanuman!