Half Monkey Pose with Yoga Strap
The Half Monkey pose, or Ardha Hanumanasana, is a preparatory posture for Full Splits (Hanumanasana). It lengthens the hamstrings, groin, and hip flexors, improves pelvis and hip mobility, and increases pelvic awareness and stability.
The Half Monkey pose can be done by:
1. Begin kneeling on the floor with the thighs, knees, shins, ankles, and feet hip distance apart and the tops of the feet flat on the floor or the earth.
2. Keep the hip over the knee. Lengthen the right leg out in front of you with the heel on the ground and the toes pointing up towards the sky and flexed towards your face.
3. Create a loop in the Yoga strap and loop around the flexed foot.
4. Slide the heel of the foot forward to straighten the right leg (without locking out the knee) and move the hands along the strap accordingly. Rotate the right inner thigh towards the earth so that the kneecap faces the sky. Keep the hips even.
5. To move out of the pose, draw the heel back, bend the knee, remove the strap, bring the hands to the floor, and come back to a kneeling position.
6. Repeat on the other side.
• Once in the pose, you can lean the torso forward with a straight spine. Keep the length in the spine and the front of the body. Move the hands along the strap towards the feet.
• A different option is to move the backside towards the heel of the back foot.
• If you feel unbalanced, hold the strap ends in one hand and use the other hand to steady yourself using a wall, or a chair.
• If doing this pose without the Yoga strap, you could try using blocks, or finger tips on the floor, or try bringing one hand or both hands on top of the straight leg.
• If it feels uncomfortable to kneel, use padding underneath the knees.
Read the following cautions to stay safe:
• Do not perform this pose if you have a knee injury and it’s difficult to kneel.
• Never push too far in a pose. Find your edge, but don't move past it. You should feel the pose working in the body, but still be able to breathe deeply and find some ease in the pose.
• If you are concerned about anything with this pose, please consult a physician about whether this practice is good for you.