Hanuman Pose: Giant Step from the Heart
One of the students at the last yoga workshop I attended said that he couldn’t really get close to the ground in hanuman pose, the splits pose. After watching the student do the pose, the teacher asked his girlfriend “Madame” for a clean shirt. She was a bit flustered, as she didn’t have a shirt nearby but was eager to do what he asked. With her shirt in his hand, the teacher reached into the student’s mouth and massaged his tongue so forcefully that the man gagged. The entire class was watching to see what would happen, as usually the teacher only answers questions verbally. We were at last getting a demonstration of a correction.
After a long and uncomfortable moment for the student, the teacher stopped and asked him to try hanuman again. The student suddenly could release much closer to the ground. The reason, the teacher explained, was that he was not relaxing his throat, which made the area around his heart tense. The secret of Hanuman’s pose was to release your heart, because the giant step from India to Sri Lanka on which the pose is based originated from the Monkey King Hanuman’s devotion to Lord Rama.
All throughout the week the teacher has been telling us to relax our throats. Evidently, this student needed a reminder. We all did.
The teacher continued: This class of students is very sincere…but stupid. We are eager to learn and we try our best, but some important things are not sinking in. I recognized myself in this description. What else to do but continue with what I can remember, which is to relax my throat and heart in order to take giant steps?