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Lord Hanuman, also known as Anjaneya, Maruti, or Bajrangbali, is a central figure in Hindu mythology known for his unwavering devotion and extraordinary powers. He is often considered an incarnation or ansh (aspect) of Lord Shiva. Hanuman's life and legends are rich with symbolism and spiritual teachings. 

Here are some key aspects of Lord Hanuman and his avatars:

Pawanputra Hanuman

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Hanuman is believed to be the son of the wind god, Vayu (Pawan), and Anjana. His birth was the result of a boon granted to Anjana, who prayed for a divine child. This connection to the wind makes Hanuman synonymous with prana (life force) and breath control in yoga and is seen as the source of his incredible strength and speed.

Blessings and Immortality

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Lord Hanuman received several boons and blessings from different deities, making him virtually immortal. His most famous blessings include being immune to death by any weapon, the ability to change his size at will, and protection from all kinds of supernatural threats.

Incarnation of Lord Shiva

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Hanuman is often considered an incarnation or ansh (aspect) of Lord Shiva. In some texts, he is described as the 11th Rudra avatar of Lord Shiva. This association with Shiva highlights Hanuman's qualities of strength, determination, and devotion.

Yoga and Hanuman

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Hanuman is often associated with yoga, particularly Bhakti Yoga, due to his deep devotion to Lord Rama. His story serves as an inspiration to yoga practitioners, emphasizing the importance of dedication, unwavering faith, and single-minded focus in the practice of yoga.

Chanting of Hanuman Chalisa

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The Hanuman Chalisa is a devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is recited by millions of devotees to seek his blessings and protection. Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa is a common practice among yoga enthusiasts and spiritual seekers.

Devotion and Surrender

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Hanuman is revered for his absolute devotion and selfless service to Lord Rama. His devotion is a central theme in Bhakti Yoga, emphasizing the idea of surrendering one's ego and desires to the divine. Hanuman's unwavering loyalty is a source of inspiration for yogis seeking a deeper connection with the divine.

Childhood Leelas (Adventures)

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As a child, Hanuman's mischievous and playful nature often got him into trouble. His childhood adventures, including swallowing the sun thinking it was a fruit and leaping to catch the moon, demonstrate his immense power even from a young age.

Symbol of Strength and Courage

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Hanuman is often depicted as a muscular figure, representing physical and mental strength. His courage and fearlessness in facing challenges symbolize the determination and resilience that yoga practitioners can draw upon in their own lives.

Pranayama and Breath Control

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Hanuman is considered a symbol of prana (life force) and breath control. His enormous leap from India to Sri Lanka, according to the Ramayana, is seen as a demonstration of breath control and the mastery of prana. Practitioners may draw inspiration from Hanuman's story to explore the connection between breath control and the expansion of one's capabilities.

Seva (Service) and Selflessness

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Hanuman's commitment to selfless service, as seen in his role in Rama's mission, reflects the yogic principle of seva (service). Many yoga practitioners are inspired by Hanuman's example and incorporate seva as a practice in their lives.

Lord Hanuman is an embodiment of devotion, strength, and selflessness. His story and qualities continue to inspire yoga practitioners as they navigate their spiritual journeys, seek inner transformation, and deepen their connection to the dedicated disciple and a symbol of strength, devotion, and selfless service.

Poses

Hanumanasana

(Monkey Pose)

Story:

Hanumanasana is a yoga pose named after Lord Hanuman, one of the most revered deities in Hindu mythology. Hanuman, the divine monkey god, is known for his unwavering devotion and remarkable feats of strength and agility. One of his legendary exploits involved leaping across the ocean to reach Lanka in his quest to rescue Lord Rama's consort, Sita. Hanumanasana commemorates this extraordinary leap, symbolizing Hanuman's devotion and selfless service to his lord.

Why is it significant:

This pose serves as a tribute to Lord Hanuman's boundless devotion, strength, and agility. Practicing Hanumanasana inspires practitioners to channel their inner strength and devotion, allowing them to explore their physical and spiritual boundaries

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How to do the pose:

  1. Start in a kneeling position.

  2. Step one foot forward and extend the other leg behind you.

  3. Slowly slide the front foot forward, stretching the legs apart as far as comfortable.

  4. Maintain a straight back and keep the hips squared.

  5. Hold for several breaths and switch to the other side.

Anjaneyasana

(Low Lunge Pose)

Story:

Anjaneyasana is a pose inspired by Lord Hanuman's devotion and humility. Hanuman's legendary leap to Lanka in search of Sita led to his meeting with Lord Rama, whom he recognized as an incarnation of the divine. Hanuman demonstrated his devotion by kneeling and bowing to Lord Rama. Anjaneyasana mimics this humble gesture, symbolizing Hanuman's unwavering loyalty and reverence.

Why is it significant:

Anjaneyasana embodies humility and devotion. It encourages practitioners to bow to the divine within themselves and recognize the sacred in everyday life.

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How to do the pose:

  1. Begin in a low lunge position with one foot forward and the other extended behind you.

  2. Lower your hips, ensuring the front knee is above the ankle.

  3. Raise your arms overhead, keeping the chest open.

  4. Bow your upper body slightly forward, emulating a sense of humility.

  5. Hold for several breaths and switch to the other side.

Virabhadrasana I

(Warrior I Pose)

Story:

Virabhadrasana I is associated with Lord Hanuman due to his role as a formidable warrior in the epic Ramayana. Hanuman's unwavering dedication and strength made him a crucial figure in Lord Rama's battle against the demon king Ravana. In this pose, practitioners embody the qualities of a warrior, mirroring Hanuman's fearless and resolute spirit. The pose embodies the spirit of Virabhadra, a powerful warrior created by Lord Shiva, who shares parallels with Hanuman.

Why is it significant:

Virabhadrasana I symbolizes strength, determination, and fearlessness, encouraging practitioners to embrace their inner warrior and face life's challenges with courage.

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How to do the pose:

  1. Stand at the front of your mat with your feet hip-width apart.

  2. Step one foot back, ensuring your hips are squared to the front.

  3. Bend the front knee to a 90-degree angle.

  4. Raise your arms overhead and gaze forward.

  5. Hold for several breaths and switch to the other side

Hanuman Chalisa Pranam (Child’s Pose)

Story:

The Hanuman Chalisa Pranam is a yoga pose inspired by the Hanuman Chalisa, a devotional hymn dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The pose symbolizes a deep and heartfelt prayer to Lord Hanuman. Devotees recite the Hanuman Chalisa to seek the monkey god's blessings and guidance in their lives. The Hanuman Chalisa Pranam embodies the essence of devotion, inviting practitioners to offer their hearts and seek the divine's grace, just as devotees do when reciting the Hanuman Chalisa.

 

Why is it significant:

This pose represents deep devotion and an earnest request for guidance and blessings. It invites practitioners to approach their practice with sincerity and reverence.

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How to do the pose:

  1. Kneel on the floor with your knees together.

  2. Bow forward, placing your forehead on the ground.

  3. Extend your arms forward and place your palms on the floor.

  4. Feel a sense of deep prayer and devotion as you bow to the divine.

Anjali Mudra

(Prayer Gesture)

Story:

Anjali Mudra is a widely recognized and revered gesture of prayer and respect. While not exclusive to Lord Hanuman, it is associated with the act of offering prayers to the divine. Hanuman is often depicted with his hands in a gesture of prayer, illustrating his unwavering devotion and reverence for Lord Rama. Anjali Mudra invites practitioners to bow their heads in respect and devotion, connecting with the sacred in the same spirit as Lord Hanuman.

                                                                                                                            Why is it significant:

This gesture symbolizes respect, devotion, and the act of connecting with the divine. It serves as a reminder of the importance of humility and reverence.

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How to do the mudra:

  1. Sit or stand in a comfortable position.

  2. Bring your palms together in front of your chest, fingers pointing upward.

  3. Bow your head slightly, closing your eyes if desired.

  4. Feel a sense of respect and devotion as you hold the mudra.

Vriksasana

(Tree Pose)

Story:

In the epic Ramayana, Lakshmana, Lord Rama's brother, is seriously wounded in battle. Hanuman is tasked with fetching the Sanjeevani herb, known for its life-restoring properties, to save Lakshmana. In the process, Hanuman lifts the entire mountain where the herb grows and carries it back to the battlefield.

The significance of Vrikshasana in this context lies in the analogy between the tree pose and the tree carrying life-saving herbs. Like the tree that bears the weight of valuable medicinal herbs, Hanuman carries the weight of the Sanjeevani mountain, emphasizing strength and the ability to bear burdens for the sake of others.

Why is it significant:

Vriksasana embodies the qualities of humility, devotion, and balance. It encourages practitioners to ground themselves, just as Hanuman remained steadfast in his devotion.

  • Strength and Stability: Vrikshasana symbolizes the strength and stability depicted in Hanuman's actions. Just as the tree stands firm in the ground, Hanuman showcases unwavering strength while carrying the colossal weight of the mountain.

  • Carrying Responsibilities with Grace: The pose represents the ability to carry life's responsibilities with grace and balance. Hanuman's devotion and selflessness in carrying the mountain align with the yogic principle of maintaining inner steadiness and equilibrium amidst life's challenges.

  • Rootedness and Connection: Trees are deeply rooted, symbolizing a strong connection to the earth. Similarly, Hanuman, in his unwavering devotion, remains grounded in his commitment to serving Lord Rama and saving Lakshmana.

  • Life-Restoring Qualities: Trees are often associated with life-giving properties. In Vrikshasana, the practitioner strives for balance and inner harmony, mirroring Hanuman's quest for the life-restoring Sanjeevani herb to revive Lakshmana.

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How to do the pose:

  1. Stand on one foot with the other foot placed against the inner thigh of the standing leg.

  2. Bring your palms together in front of your chest in a prayer position.

  3. Find a focal point to maintain balance.

  4. Hold for several breaths and switch to the other leg.

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