Peak Pose Flow - Monkey Pose
Time & Location
About the Event
In the ... in the series of our Yoga ... in collaboration with our conservation charity partner BirdsCaribbean, we will flow towards our 'Pose of the Month' Monkey pose (Hanumanasana). While many people associate this pose with the animal, Hanumanasana was actualy named for the monkey-faced deity Hanuman. Hanuman is a symbol of ...
The lessons that stand out to me from the story of Hanuman are: to have faith in yourself to take those leaps in life that seem too great to fathom; to hold your loved ones in your heart and be ready to sacrifice yourself for them; and to trust your instincts entirely and let them guide you on your life’s path. The story of Hanuman appears in the Ramayana - the epic tale of the love between Rama & Sita (the avatars of Vishnu and Lakshmi, the preserver deities). Sita was very beautiful, and her beauty caught the eye of the demon Ramana, who coveted her and wanted her for himself. Having watched her, he knew of her love for animals and so, one day, took on the form of the most beautiful deer and appeared to Sita. Seeing this deer, she was captivated by its beauty, and asked her beloved Rama to capture it for her so that she could keep it as a pet. Wanting to please his beloved, Rama set off after the deer, leaving his brother Lakshmana to protect Sita. Hearing a cry of pain, and believing it was from Rama, Sita begged Lakshmana to rescue her love. But this was a trick. Soon after Lakshmana left Sita, Ravana kidnapped her and took her to his lair. Upon his return, Rama searched desperately for his love but had no idea where to find her. During one of his searches, he Came into the presence of some Varanas (monkey-faced deities) and one in particular vowed to help Rama in his search as he recognised Rama as an incarnation of Vishnu. This deity was Hanuman. Hanuman was the son of Vayu (the wind) but he had forgotten his divinity, having one day as a child been cursed by Surya for trying to catch the sun. In this way, he is much like we are in our human form - divine but unable to remember our divinity, only ever catching short glimpses of the Supreme consciousness within. Yet, it was Hanuman’s humbleness that allowed him to rescue Sita. He sat down in Virasana, or Hero’s pose, to pray for the ability to perform this act of devotion and after sitting in prayer, he knew that he had the ability to ride the wind. Taking a great leap of faith he soared crossed the ocean to Lanka (modern day Sri Lanka) where Ravana was holiding Sita prisoner - it is from this part of his story that we get the pose Hanumanasana. Hanuman was able to find Sita and promised her Rama would return to her with an army of varanas to free her from the demon’s clutches. Having Varuna‘s (the ocean god’s) blessing, Hanuman returned to Rama, who then crossed the sea via a bridge constructed by the varanas. An epic battle between good and evil ensued and Ravana was eventually killed, and Sita rescued. Rama & Sita returned to their rightful place to reign over their kingdom and offered Hanuman a great deal of treasure as a reward. Hanuman rejected their gifts and instead knelt in front of them in a low lunge (Anjaneyasana) opened his heart to them and simply said that the love inside his heart for Rama & Sita was reward enough for him. Intention for class: To open our hearts to the love of those around us. To have faith in our power and trust in the universe. To know that we are exactly where we need to be in this moment and believe that we have the power within us to achieve our goals. Asana associated with Hanuman: Virasana Hanumanasana Anjaneyasana Other asana linked to my intention: Humble warrior - to open the heart, bow & be humbled before those I love Tadasana - to remember my inner strength and power Bhujangasana - to rise with conviction, opening my heart and remembering that all creatures have the capacity to love Closing: As we return to virasana, I invite you to sit in reverence before the deity Hanuman and remember his unwavering love for his friends, to allow yourself to embody his utter faith in himself and his abilities, and to trust that you are exactly where you need to be right now and that you have the power to achieve that which you set your mind to. I would then invoke the mantra: Om Sita Ram, Jai Jai, Hanuman and invite my students into a call and response devotional singing session to uplift their spirit, create a deeper connection to this inspirational deity, and close the practice with this beautiful heart-filled mantra.