|Tara Woltjen in Hanumanasana|
Hanumanasana is one of them.
Known in English as "the splits" Hanumanasana requires considerable flexibility in the legs and back.
It is a posture that demands your complete physical attention and yet may only become an asana when you bring more to it than mere physical effort.
Hanuman is a popular character in Hindu mythology. In the epic Ramayana, it is Hanuman the monkey who locates the kidnapped princess Sita and leaps across the ocean between the southern tip of India and the island of Lanka to deliver a message of encouragement and hope along with her husband's ring.
Similarly, on the mat, the posture that mimics Hanuman's giant leap demands patience, persistence, steady breathing, truthfulness and positive intention.
"To start the journey, I needed firm intention." Hanuman said. "To make the leap I needed strength and courage. To overcome the obstacles along the way, I needed flexibility and cunning. To find you, I needed perseverance. To speak with you and win your trust, I needed patience and discrimination. Through Lord Rama's grace, I found all these qualities within myself, and was able to complete this journey." Quote from "Hanuman's Great Leap"
You can learn more about the mythology behind Hanumanasana here.
If you would like to experience this exhilarating posture for yourself, please check out this blog post first, for some great tips and warm ups.