Anjaneyasana (pronounced Ahn-jah-nay-ahs-uh-nuh), also known as low lunge or monkey lunge, stretches the hips, gluteus and quadricep muscles and improves balance and concentration.
Anjaneya: Lord Hanuman, believed in Hindu culture to be an incarnation of Shiva, the Adi (first) yogi.
🌟 Philosophy & Origin
The term anjaneya references to the monkey god Hanuman using his mother’s name, Anjani. Lord Hanuman is a central part of Hindu devotional worship, believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. The pose resembles a young, divine child (anjaneya), reaching towards the sky and the warmth of the sun, captivated by a glowing fruit in the sky.
🌟 Physical Benefits
Strengthens the quadriceps (thighs) and gluteus (butt) muscles.
Improves balance and concentration – calms the mind.
Stretches the hip muscles, including the psoas and hip flexors.
Expands your chest, lungs and shoulders.
🌟 Energetic Benefits
Activates svadhisthana (sacral) chakra, the energy centre that governs the reproductive system and influences creativity and relationships with others.
🌟 Step by Step
1. Start in downward-facing dog. On an exhale, step your right foot forward near your right thumb. Align your right knee over your right ankle. Lower your left knee to the floor.
2. Inhale to reach your arms overhead, chest and head reaching upward. Face your palms toward one another and soften your shoulders down.
3. Tuck your tailbone done towards the earth, lengthening your lower back and engaging your core muscles.
4. Stay here or lift your chest and gaze upwards. Practice Ujjai breath and hold for as long as is comfortable.
5. To release, place your hands down on the mat and step back to down dog. Repeat on the other side.
🌟 Modifications & Helpful Tips
Place a folded blanket or pillow under the back knee for cushioning.
If raising the arms overhead is uncomfortable (due to shoulder issues), keep your hands on your front thigh.
If looking up creates any neck strain, keep your gaze downwards or straight ahead.
To challenge your balance, try this pose with your eyes closed!
If balancing is challenging, try facing a wall and press the big toe of your front foot against the wall.
🌟 Prep Poses
Downward-facing dog (Adho mukha svanasana)
Wide-legged forward fold (Prasarita padottanasana)
Reclined hero pose (Supta virasana)
Chair pose (Utkatasana)
🌟 Follow-Up Poses
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Half Splits/ Front Splits (Ardha Hanumanasana/ Hanumanasana)