The Bhakti Show Artwork
Season 6 - Episode 6

Hanuman Flow

45 min - Practice


We begin with the mantra Hanuman Bolo before moving into a heart-opening sequence building towards Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose). You will feel fluid and brave.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block (2)

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Adi Aum everyone, wonderful to see you again and I just want to welcome you back. Today we are going to explore one of my favorite poses, Hanuman Asuna and maybe one of the reasons I love exploring this pose is just the myth behind the pose and we're speaking about Hanuman today, the monkey god and there's a lot to be said about him and one of the stories about him is that he was cursed with his memory, short-term memory you know and so one of the things that he's been struck with is this inability to remember his own divinity and I think we can all relate to that at different times in our life right. I know that I personally have struggled with self-doubt and judgment and self-esteem and you know feelings of you know being able to rise up right when I needed to or the doubt and so I often think of Hanuman and he was he like I said he forgot his divinity, his father celestial father was Vayu, god of the wind and his mother was mortal and so he was a child he was very powerful but just not knowing how to contain his power and really where this power came from and one of the wonderful stories fun stories of him just seeing the sun in the sky and leaping right this is where the split pose comes one of the stories you take that great leap up towards the sky and towards the sun thinking it was a mango and another god up in the sky saw what was going on and shattered his jaw right and so that's really what Hanuman means broken jaw and he tumbled down to the earth and in fact Hanuman died and so his father was destroyed right the god of the wind so he took this great inhale and just took all the breath out of life all the breath out of life itself and people were freaking out gods were freaking out please please release release exhale and so at some point he realized you know what was happening and and enough people and gods and whatnot came to him and just please please take that breath and release it you know do you see what's happening and so he did he did and then there was a there was a how would you say there was a plan to revive his son to revive his son but they were gonna need to put him in a place that was safe or else other gods were going to come out for him so they tucked him away with the with an army of monkeys right and so he became a great warrior and again just forgetting you know and that's what one of the qualities that made him known as just such a humble servant right he had all this great power but he he didn't really act out on that right but he did when it was necessary and when he met his his beloved his guru Ram and so we'll sing a little bit to Hanuman and his his way of expression is through love and devotion to his guru and to serve and when we talk about Bhakti we talk about loving for love's sake right without any expectation it is said to be the lover to be the lover is so much more enriching than to be the beloved right so that's what honeymoon did he loved with all his heart and soul Ram and his beloved Sita and so it's just a wonderful way to remember the power that love has you know behind it and the courage that it takes of course to tap into this source so you're welcome to join me let's start with three ohms here I'm taking a big breath in ah oh So the words are hanyuman bolo, bolo means to sing, so I sing the name of hanyuman, jeyasitaram, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, hanyuman bolo, hanyuman bolo, jeyasitaram, jeyajeya hanyuman, Please take a few moments here. Just absorbing the intention, absorbing the vibration. Just acknowledging if there's any self-doubt or judgment or criticism, you want to leave that at the door and allow an entryway into the door of the heart through the breath, through asana, and through this time together and allow the truth to manifest through us and we'll use the breath and the body to play with that.

So now we're going to take some breathing and we're going to breathe into our heart. So we're going to take a nice big inhale, just free breath in and then let everything go. And then the breath will be a little bit more intentional as you breathe in, just breathe in all the way to the upper chest and hold there at the top of the breath. And then relax and exhale everything out. Very simple.

Just focusing on the hold after the inhale, nice big breath in and a little pause there. Relax the shoulders, soften the chin in towards the throat and then exhale, release. Two more, nice big breath in. Holding here, feel the heart expansive, shoulders relaxed and exhale, release. And last one, nice breath in.

Holding here, spine is long, and exhale to release. Okay, and from here we're going to come and take a seat, I'm going to bring my right foot to the floor and I'm actually going to use a block here for a little extra support. And oftentimes you'll see pictures of Hanuman sitting like this next to Ram. So there's just this symbol of humility here. And so simply that means to be teachable, that's how I've translated it.

So just take a moment here as the palms meet at the center of the chest, you can soften the chin in towards the throat a little bit, head is bowing in towards the hands. This gesture of just being teachable. How can we take these things such as self-doubt, when we're not feeling so courageous, whatever it is that's hindering us, how can we utilize them as an instrument for transformation? So from here, take another little breath in keeping the spine nice and long, finding that lift and lengthening as you press the right foot down and find that little lift at the crown of your head. And then from here, let's just take the left hand out to the side, you're going to lengthen the right leg and then lift the arm up and open up to the front of the body.

And then as you exhale, release down. And then take the same shape on the other side, so bring the right foot down, sitting inside the heel, left foot to the floor and again, bring the palms together, left elbows inside of the knee there and just a little breath in here. The thumbs soften at the sternum, chest is expansive here, a couple of breathing, setting the intention and then from there, we'll take the right hand down and extend to the left arm. Take a big breath in, open up and big breath out. Nice inhale and then exhale to have a seat.

From here, I'm going to lose the block and have a seat on my heels and then I'm just going to go back and forth a few times to open the front of the chest. And then exhale again in photos, pictures, paintings of Hanuman, you'll often see him ripping open his chest, right? So just that big opening through the heart. And then an exhale, draw the shoulders forward, belly in, big inhale to open up the front of the body and then exhale around, breathing in, can slide the arms back and forth, breath in and breath out. Just a couple more, really articulating the vertebrae, full breath in and full breath out.

And one more inhale and one more exhale. Great, and then from there, just find a neutral spine. From here, I'm going to turn around and tuck the toes under, let's take Downward Facing Dog. So begin to lift your knees as you press the heels of the hand down and lift the hips. You can bend the knees a little bit and pedal out to the feet, let the head go, shake a little yes and no, opening up the backs of the knees.

And then we're going to soften forward onto the knees, take the hips back towards your heels, take a breath in and rise up on the inhale. And then as you exhale, a little twist to the right. I'm going to take the right hand behind me and then lift up through the left arm and then as I exhale, go ahead and come forward like a little cartwheel, hands come down, breath in to look up and then Downward Facing Dog. Take a little plank as you breathe in, draw the knees down, exhale, hips to your heels, rising up on the breath in and then exhale, exhale, a little twist there to the left. Left hand down, lift up and arch back and then exhale, cartwheel the hands down to the front of the mat and Downward Facing Dog.

Little breaths and then let's slowly begin to walk the feet forward, soften to the knees. Take a little breath in, you can bend your knees a little bit here, send the tail back and then look up and then as you exhale, lengthen the legs and fold. I'm going to soften the knees and take the arms wide to lift all the way up and then bring the prayer to the center of the chest. A little pause here, just allowing the tail to soften down towards your heels, enjoy the expansiveness in the front of the body and we'll do a couple rounds of sun salutations incorporating some standing splits. From here, hands to the side and a big breath in to reach the arms up, bring the prayer through center, third eye, heart and then tapping the earth and as you breathe in, slide the right leg back, lift the eyes of the heart and then exhale, Downward Facing Dog, full breath out.

Come forward into Plank Pose, reaching the heels back, shoulders over the wrists and then bending through the elbows, lifting through the belly, lowering down halfway or all the way, breath in to lift through the chest, engaging the legs, Downward Facing Dog as you breathe out and lift the right leg high on the inhale and then exhale the knee forward and then the right foot forward and down. Keep the left heel lifted and reach the arms up, full breath in and as you exhale, hands come down, lift the left leg, feet come together, breath in to rise all the way up and palms at the center, exhale and arms down and up as you breathe in, palms together, exhale through center, hands down, left leg back, lifting up, look up, Downward Facing Dog, palms pressing down, hips lift, Plank Pose, keep reaching your heels back, engage the legs, exhale and bend to lower down, inhale to lift up to the chest and exhale, Downward Facing Dog. Let's take the left leg up as you breathe in and then exhale the knee forward and the left foot forward, keep the back heel lifted, high lunge. On the exhale, hands come down as you lift the right leg up and then the feet come together, breath in to rise all the way up and the palms meet at the center, Utkatasana this time. So bend your knees, take your hips back and lift up and we'll take a little Divers Pose.

So lengthen your legs and lift up to the heels and bend the knees, look up and one more, exhale lengthen and lift through the heels there and Utkatasana on the breath in, from here hands come down, you're going to step back into Plank Pose on the breath out, lower down, inhaling to lift and exhale, Downward Facing Dog, full breath out. From here, let's take the right leg high on the inhale, step it forward as you exhale, so find that lift in the low belly, right foot down, left foot down and then rise on up, Virabhadrasana one, sliding that right knee towards your pinky toe, tendency is to roll it in, let's open it up and then from there, Warrior Two, arms, chest and pelvis nice and wide, take the gaze past the middle finger and then from there tip it back into this peaceful Warrior and then exhale, lengthen the right leg, Triangle Pose from there. So press down into your right big toe and engage the front leg and lengthen through the back leg as you open up to the arms, the arms are connected to your heart, so nice and expansive, take a breath in, left arm behind you and then bend to the right knee and then reach forward like you're reaching for your beloved, your best friend and then the right hand can come down, you can bring your hand on a block certainly here and then lengthen and lift the left arm, a little breath in here, maybe looking up and then Warrior Two from there and expand, take a breath in, lengthen and lift and then let's bring the prayer through center and coming down as you exhale, take the hips over to the right side and then downward facing dog, left leg is going to lift on the inhale, step it forward as you exhale, Warrior One, press down, lift and lengthen, exhale Warrior Two, shoulders and hips aligned, take a breath in and arch back and then from there lengthen through the left leg, triangle pose, left hand down, knit the shoulder blades onto the back of the body, soften the ribs in as well and then from there press down and rise up, lengthen, reach forward and then exhale, exhale to lift the back leg, again taking the gaze up if you can, a little bit of a game changer and then from there Warrior Two and then rise up, lengthen and parallel your feet and then exhale to fold forward and down, lift up halfway, take the hips to the left side and you've got a downward facing dog from there, full breath out, little vinyasa there as you breathe in and lower down as you breathe out, inhale and exhale, downward facing, alright let's take the right leg high on the inhale, press into the heels of the hand, take a big breath in and then a big breath out to step the foot forward, we'll go right into Warrior Two from here, so open up through the arms, chest and pelvis, from here we're going to lengthen our right leg, parallel the feet, take the arms up and dive forward and down into Prasarita, and then lift up halfway, so I'm going to invite you to go a little deeper into this pose, this is called samokanasana, lateral split, I don't think I'm going to be doing that today but I'm going to go a little further than I'm used to, just a little bit, you can keep your hands on the floor, some of you might be able to drop down onto your forearms, interlace the hands, we want to find some equal weight into the heels and the toes, right, take a couple of breathing here, definitely opening the inner thighs for sure, couple of breaths, breathing in and breathing out and finding that balance between again the heel and the front of the foot, and then you're going to lift up halfway and then we're going to open up, crawl the feet in a little bit and then take the hips over to the left side, right, you can even lift the right foot, foot comes down, take it over to the left side, this is the right side, turn your left toes up, breath in to the left, right toes up, and one more time, through center as you breathe in and then let everything go as you breathe out. From here I'm going to lift up and I'm going to take it to the front of my mat, full breath in and then I'm going to drop the left knee and reach the arms up. From here as I exhale I'm going to take the left hand down, slide the right arm back and I can stay here, you can also use a block and I'm going to, on the exhale, I'm going to invite that left leg up and put my hand there on the inside of the foot and then allow that to open the right shoulder a little bit, right, so if you can't reach for your foot that's okay, you can just reach the arm bone back there, take a couple moments here and then we'll bring the hands forward and downward facing dog from there, we'll just switch side right from here, left leg comes forward, dropping the knee and reaching the arms up.

And then from there exhale, exhale the hands down, take a breath in and then bend through the right leg as you exhale, catch the inside of the foot and then press the foot into the hand, full breath in, little gaze towards the back, great, and then release, release, hands come forward and down and then downward facing dog, I'm going to take a breath in and reach the right leg high and then exhale to step it forward, lift the chest on the breath in and then a little standing split from here, exhale, you can bring your hands onto a block if you'd like, find a little lift to the chest and as you exhale let the crown of the head drop, crawl it back into a low lunge, another downward facing dog with the leg lifted and release, left leg lifts, exhale, step it forward, take a little breath in and then lifting through the back leg, breathing in, a little micro bend in the standing leg, lift the chest and then exhale, lengthen through the standing leg as you let the crown of the head drop, good, and low lunge, another three legged dog, and release, come to plank pose as you breathe in, drop your knees and just have a seat on your heels for a moment. Just taking a little breath here, allowing the legs to settle, a lot of leg work today. From here taking the hands forward, tuck the toes under and lift your knees, let's walk the feet forward, take a little breath in and exhale everything out, and let's sweep the arms forward, up and back and palms made at the center, okay, a few more standing poses, so let's take the right knee into the chest here, so you can hold the leg in, right, for a nice standing pose, nice, pretty easy here or you can take the left hand to your left tip and reach the first two fingers around the big toe as you soften the right shoulder back, so either one works, a little balancing here, take the left arm up and then everybody take both arms up for a moment, find that lift from your low belly, palms come to center and then Virabhadrasana three, exhale, a little balance here, arm bones back, keep the eyes of the heart lifted here, one more breath in and we have a standing split, exhale, alright, stay with me here, we're going to breathe in and lift up halfway, you're going to grab your block, place it to the left of your heel, the right of your heel, you're going to bring your knee in towards your chest and slide the right leg forward, now you can have a seat on the block, traditionally there's no block underneath and we find a little balance there pressing down to the left foot but using a block is totally okay, it's more than okay, take a little breath in here, lift up and lengthen through the spine, shoulders back and then from here as we exhale we're going to take the hands down and come back up through standing split, feet together and a breath in to rise up and palms at the center and just notice how one side of the body feels, okay, left side, Utitta A, again you can snuggle the leg into the chest by interlacing the fingers, hang here, strong standing leg or first two fingers around the big toe and a nice big exhale to lengthen, invite the top of the right quadricep to move back and then lengthen through the left heel, the right arm can lift up and then everybody take both arms up for a moment, engage and lift and then from here exhale Virabhadrasana, three toes you're pointing towards the floor, heels reaching back, chest is open and then an exhale to sink the hands down, find your standing split, let the head go, so here we go, take a breath in, lift up halfway, bring the knee in towards your chest and then slide the left foot forward as you draw the belly in and up, take the block underneath if you need it and then reach for the outer edges of your feet, press down into the right foot so you create some length in the spine, chest is open, one more breath in and then hands come down on the exhale, feel that lift from within, lift, lift, lift and then exhale, feet together, rise up, breath in, okay, we're going to make our way down here, so coming down onto the hands and knees and a little Virasana, so traditionally you sit between your heels but again you're welcome to sit on a block, if you have any knee stuff definitely stack yourself up as high as necessary, but sitting on a block is really nice and then let the spine lengthen, like I said I'm pretty comfortable with sitting between the heels so I'm going to hang here for a few moments, allowing the tailbone to drop down, feeling a little lift in my belly, hands resting on the tops of my legs, elbows in, we call this hero's pose, so just taking a few moments here to engage the front body with the support of the back body, press the tops of your shins, press the tops of your feet into the earth there and allow and receive the lifting quality and the energy here, take a little breath in and big breath out, okay, from here we're going to take the hands back and just take a moment to maybe lift the hips a little bit, get a little stretch through the front of the body and then as you exhale release, coming onto the hands and knees and now the moment we've been waiting for, so a block or two is wonderful if you have access, if you don't you can use a couple pillows at home, what we're going to do is bring all the props pretty close by, I'm going to come into downward facing dog, I'm going to lift the right leg and then exhale, step the foot forward, taking that great leap forward like Hanuman, I'm going to drop the left knee down, now I'm going to take one block and as I begin to exhale and lengthen that right heel forward, I'm going to crawl my hands back so I can lift the chest, so what I actually might do is take the blocks onto the side because more importantly is that the chest is lifted, the heart is open, the spine is long, so from here I can begin to extend the right heel forward, untuck the back toes, have my hands on the blocks for some support, soften the right hip back, create that lift from within and then maybe the arms begin to lift, a couple of breathing in here, as I inhale I create lift, as I exhale I take the arms a little past my ears, hands come down, tuck the back toes under, slide the right leg back, take a little inhale here and exhale, left side, left leg lifts on the breath in and then taking that great leap forward, right knee drops down and then let the back of the left thigh just rest onto the blanket, palms are pressing down so the spine is long, heart is open here, untucking the back toes, make sure you're not pushing your ribs out, soften the ribs into the body a little bit and then from there maybe some of you can begin to reach the arms up or just keep the hands on the blocks, if your arms are up take a big breath in to lengthen and as you exhale take the arms back, take a couple of breathing here and then let the hands soften down onto the blocks, slide the left leg back and a little down dog from there, bring the knees to the floor on the inhale, I'm going to move all the goods here off to the side and then just come into a little child's pose with the knees very close together for a moment, make a little pillow with the backs of your hands and then rising up, hands come forward, downward facing dog, now take the right leg high and come into pigeon pose from here, it should feel nice after all of that, bringing the right knee forward, traditionally we have the right shin parallel to the mat but you can soften your heel in a little bit here and then invite the right hip back a little bit, create a little lift in the chest, point through the back toes and then a little exhale to come forward, you can make a little pillow with the backs of your hands and rest here, you're welcome to place a block or a blanket underneath the right side there and let the head go. Keep lengthening out through the tips of your toes, relaxing the shoulders, allowing the hips to open here. Begin to rise up on your inhale, press the palms down and open through the chest and then from here tucking the back toes under, exhale downward facing dog, adjust my block so it's closer to the left side as I bring my left leg up and then exhale to step forward, take a little breath in to lift through the chest and then exhale, exhale coming forward and down, again really reaching long through the back toes, out through the tips of the toes, enjoying the inner left thigh opening up a little bit there, relaxing the shoulders and then slowly begin to crawl the hands back, lifting through the chest.

From here I'm going to remove any padding I have to the side and I'm going to slide my right leg around, I'm going to face you, so now we're in Gomukhasana, so my right leg is over the left knee, so you're welcome to extend the left leg if you need to, otherwise we'll stack the knees up, heels in line and you can also bring a blanket underneath you here that will help with coming forward a little bit, taking a breath in, crawling the hands forward and then exhale, exhale, see if you can keep the feet engaged, shoulders soft and then lifting up and as you exhale other side, a little breath in and then exhale coming forward and down, beautiful gesture of surrender and then slowly rising up, I'm going to remove the padding and grab a block and come to lie down onto my back and lift the hips and take a nice supported back bend, let the block just rest underneath the sacrum here and then take the arms out to the side, toes pointing in a little bit towards each other, the heels are in line with the hips and just allow the arms to release, palms are open, I'm still pressing the feet down and allowing a little lift in the shins and just allowing for a feeling of being held here and supported and from here I'm going to press down and lift the hips, remove the block and a little exhale to lower down, going to bring the knees into the chest and from here I'm going to rock my way up to sit and I'm going to take the soles of the feet together, soles of the feet a little further out for tarasana, going to reach for the outer edges of my feet, maybe interlace the fingers, take a little breath in and elbows out to the side, coming forward and down, of course you're welcome just to have your hands out here to the side and release the head, we'll all begin to crawl the hands back so we can lift up, bring the knees together and then from here exhale to lengthen the legs, a soft bend in the knees and then reaching forward, exhale and you can begin to reach the arms up and exhale the hands behind you, bring the feet to the floor, hands to the floor and a nice big breath in to lift up and exhale out, dropping the hips, just cross the legs and take a moment here, hands resting on the knees, noticing how the body feels, the mind is a little sharper, a little clearer, embracing your strengths here, embracing the idea of trusting and faith and with all that being said, letting go and then take your hands behind you, take the left hand around the right wrist, take a little breath in, lifting the chest and as you exhale take a dive forward and down for yogi mudra and rising up and we'll come on to our backs for shavasana now, so coming to lie down, the legs widen, the arms widen, palms face up, the shoulders relax, let the tongue rest behind the bottom teeth and soften the corners of your mouth and the corners of your eyes and the body and the mind actually strengthen a little bit more each time you let go a little bit more, just taking a few powerful breaths here as you let go a little deeper, embracing all the sounds, all the sensations, not wasting any energy by pushing anything away, another moment and you're welcome to stay here as long as you'd like, honestly you can just take a few long deep breaths here or you can begin to bend your knees, place the feet on the earth and then take everything over to the right side for a few moments and slowly make your way up to sit, take a couple moments just to close with the sound of om together, so whether you're lying down or you're sitting up it's receiving the sound of om. Oh. Jai Hanyuman.


Jenny S
2 people like this.
We are certainly living in “interesting times” and the story and message of Hanuman is something positive to bear in mind...thank you for this sweet practice and blessings to you and all of us 🐒🥭❤️🙏🏻
4 people like this.
Thank U Jenny, Like Ram Das said "we are all just walking each other hOMe" We have to do our best co-elevating each other. Not always easy, but its the most natural thing we could do for one-anther.
It's too easy to forget how special each and everyone of us is. We have to work together. Im still learning and practicing.
Jai hanuman!
Jennifer E
2 people like this.
Astrud, thank you thank you thank you for each of these magical practices. After the first one I found myself so excited for the next class each week.
Kate M
I feel just like Jennifer ! When this class reminder appeared in my inbox - spontaneous smile! The devotional focus (captured so perfectly in Hanuman) really transforms / illuminates the whole practice. Again, as Jennifer says, it's magical : )
1 person likes this.
Jennifer ahhh.. you're  welcome, you're welcome, you're welcome! Im so happy you're  enjoying and thank you for sharing this.  xo
1 person likes this.
Kate thank you!  It's lovely how the practice comes alive with a little storytelling. Bringing intention to our practice is essential to enjoying it and giving it life. This is how I strive to live my daily life. This is why the Bhakti practice is so essential. It's like  adding water to flour otherwise its just dry.  Hari Om Tat Sat!
Lisa D
1 person likes this.
Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram I am lifted! 💓 Namaste Astrud. Thank you for sharing your beautiful practice. 🙏 I am so grateful for the opportunity to practice with and learn from/with you from afar! ❤️
Kate M
So much has changed in the world since I did this practice 1 month ago!! Hanuman is such a wonderful inspiration - he was never overwhelmed as obstacles arose to interrupt his great leap from Bharata to Lanka. Love for Rama and Sita kept him going forward. May love light our way forward too.
Meaghan S
I have never seen a more peaceful and AHIMSA steeped way to move into Hanuman-asana. Thank you. 
Lenise Jay
Thank you for practice 🥰🧘🏾‍♀️

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