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Anjaneyasana - The story of a great Hero

A frequently practiced asana and one that has an interesting perspective behind it is Anjaneyasana. A direct reference to Lord Hanuman ( earlier known as Anjaneya) who  plays a momentous role in the Ramayana and is believed to be an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hanuman is referred to as the God of wisdom, strength, courage, discipline and devotion. 

The Background

This asana literally equates to the pose of Anjana; the mother of Hanuman. According to Hindu mythology in the court of Brahma – The Creator, there was a beautiful celestial dancer; an apsara named Anjana who insulted a sage. The great sage eventually cursed her to live as a monkey in the forest. Anjana wandered in the forest and, during the course of her exile married the monkey king ‘Kesari’. She eventually longed for a child. 


The story behind the name 'Anjaneya'

An ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, she prayed with such great devotion every day hoping the Gods hear her plea for the gift of a child. Impressed by her daily devotion was the Wind God – Vayu. One fine day King Dasharata was performing a yagna (special prayer ceremony) after which he fed his wives with a sweet.  While feeding one of his wives named Kaushlya, a bird suddenly swopped low and snatched a portion of the sweet and flew away. The bird flew over Anjana while she was praying and Vayu, the wind God instructed the bird to keep the sweet in Anjana’s hand as desired by Lord Shiva.  Knowing it had to be a gift from the Gods in answer to her prayers, Anjana consumed the sweet in complete faith. This yielded fruit, and she became pregnant, giving birth to a son named - Anjaneya.

The story does not end here; Anjaneya, the son of Anjana, being half divine since he was the child of Vayu, was gifted with the superhuman ability to rise into the sky.

The story behind the name 'Hanuman'

One fine day Anjaneya, accidentally assuming, the sun was a bright, golden yellow mango fruit, tired to bite the sun. This unsettled the Sun God and in a fit of rage he sought the help of Indra; the king of Gods. Indra struck Anjaneya to the ground with lightning and killed him immediately.

Vayu, upon hearing this, was enraged and, in anger, sucked all the air from the earth. This had disastrous consequences since people on Earth were unable to breathe, and this inflicted havoc on humanity. The Gods came together to try and restore peace between the divine and mortal world. Vayu refused to exhale air until his son was brought back to life.

The reluctant sun God gave in and finally Brahma, the creator brought back Anjaneya to life. He was then renamed Hanuman (‘Hanu’ meaning jaw in Sanskrit). His divine powers though were revoked and he was thereafter blessed with a short-term memory.

Being the devotee of Rama

Worshipped as the lord of power and valour, Lord Hanuman is believed to possess infinite power and courage and is considered the Lord of the universe. The narrations from the Ramayana, where he joined Rama in the quest to find Sita, further highlight his bravery, resolve, and compassion.

Lord Hanuman was born on Purnima (the full moon day of the Chaitra month), which fell on a Tuesday. Tuesday is, therefore, considered an auspicious day to worship Lord Hanuman.

Mythology is Life in stories

This story of Anjaneyasana is a meaningful metaphor and resembles real-life situations. It teaches us to accept our current circumstances with grace and to pursue what we really desire with all our heart and devotion. A deep trust and willingness to surrender helps us align and manifest our dreams into reality. The pose itself is reflective of our human failures, worldly desires and deep intent to achieve what we yearn for. An aspirational pose; Anjaneyasana emulates victory, confidence, determination & reward.

Anjaneyasana in Yoga

The Anjaneyasana pose physically resembles a young, divine child (Anjaneya), reaching towards the sky and the warmth of the sun. 


Chakras & Anjaneyasana

While holding this particular back bend pose we direct our energy upwards while planting our feet firmly on the ground. This asana activates the Muladhara (root) chakra located at the base of the spine which nurtures safety and security. This asana opens the heart chakra, which is the energy center for self & universal love, care and compassion. We tend to accumulate negative emotions in the hip area and this asana is a hip-opening pose. It releases pent-up emotions and accumulated stress. The Svadishtana (sacral) chakra located below the navel is stimulated, which enhances creativity, while the abdominal stretch activates the Manipura (solar plexus) chakra that balances emotions. The slight stretch of the neck backward, has a positive impact on the Vishuddha (throat) chakra which brings about clarity in communication.

Benefits of Anjaneyasana

Overall, this powerful asana embodies awareness and builds mental focus, which improves attention to the present moment, enhances mental strength, improves concentration, stabilizes emotions, and forms a stronger mind-body connection.

We hope you add this beautiful layer of the story into your yoga practice & resonate with the essence of this inspiring asana in life too.

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