Bend it like Hanuman
Kamala Venkat recommends the yoga asana Anjaneyasana, or Crescent Pose, for its multifold benefits, especially for those suffering from sciatica
Anjaneyasana takes its name from Anjaneya, another name for Hanuman, Ram’s aide in the Hindu mythology Ramayana. Hanuman’s mother was named Anjani, and Anjaneya means son of Anjani. In English, this pose is called the Crescent Pose because of the shape the body forms when in this asana. One would commonly see Lord Hanuman in this stance, and therefore, the crescent and Anjaneya are connected.
• Start by kneeling on the floor with knees a little apart. Place your right foot forward and raise the inner sole such that only the outer heel touches the floor.
• As you exhale, bend your torso forward and bring your fingertips to touch the floor.
• Slowly, move your left knee backwards till the knee and the front of the foot touch the ground. Simultaneously, slide your right leg forward till it touches the floor completely.
• Sliding your left foot backward and right foot forward, come into a split position.
• The toes of the right foot should be firmly grounded and straight while the front of the left foot should be touching the ground.
• Raise your arms and join your palms. Stretch your arms and arch your back a little.
• Stay in this position for a couple of breaths before bringing your arms back down.
• To come out of this posture, shift the weight of the body on the hands by pressing them on the floor. Slowly slide your feet back to the initial position before repeating the pose with the left leg in front and the right leg behind.
• It makes the gluteus muscles and the quadriceps stronger.
• It gives the hips and hip flexors a good stretch.
• It opens up your shoulders, lungs, and chest.
• It helps you improve your balance.
• It increases your ability to concentrate and also builds core awareness.
• It helps relieve sciatica (an important benefit).
• It stimulates the digestive organs.
• If you practice this asana regularly, your body will be toned and energised.
Refrain from practising this yoga pose if you have an injury in the hamstring or groin area. Do not forcefully do a full split as it might harm the body. Respect your body’s limits and stretch till you comfortably can.
Mrs. Kamala Venkat is a home maker with a great passion for yoga. Inspired by Shri Swami Ramdev of Patanjali, she has been practising it with complete dedication for the last 20 years.
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