Front Splits Pose (Hanumanasana)

Last Updated:

Front Splits Pose Hanumanasana, (h-nu-maa-naa-suh-nuh)

hanuman (an ardent devotee of lord rama) + asana (pose)

Also Known as: Splits Pose, Monkey Pose, Dragon Splits Pose

Pose Type: Stretching, Balancing

Difficulty: Advanced

  • woman doing front split yoga pose with arms up
  • woman doing front split yoga pose with arms down

Challenge your flexibility and commitment to your practice with Front Splits Pose.

Front Splits Pose Fundamentals

The Front Splits, or Hanumanasana, honor the courage of the great leap made from India to Sri Lanka by Hanuman the great monkey God.

Because of how demanding the front splits are, it is easy to get caught up in ‘getting the splits’ and achieving the picture-perfect appearance of the pose. It is important not to fall into this mentality as you dedicate yourself to this asana.

Instead, try and embody Hanuman’s devotion and enter the pose with kindness to yourself and respect for where you meet yourself in your practice.

This is not a pose that you can achieve without consistency and dedication. Enjoy the process.

Front Splits Pose Benefits

  • Engages and strengthens the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvic girdle supports the body weight in this Asana, so proper activation in this pose will strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.
  • Stretches the groin muscles, leg muscles, and hip flexors.
  • Strengthens the core, stabilizing the hips.
  • Builds mental endurance. By being a pose that doesn’t come easy, you will develop mental endurance.

How To Do The Front Splits Pose: Step-By-Step

How To Get There:

1. Start coming into Front Slits Pose by kneeling down. Step your right leg out in front and straighten it into Half Splits Pose.

2. Press your fingertips into the floor or into blocks for stability. Keep your right hip drawn back.

3. Slide your right foot forwards, keeping your toes flexed up towards the sky. Keep your legs engaged.

4. Allow the pelvis to lower all the way down to the floor or to a bolster.

5. Find stability here, engaging your core. If you feel secure in this position, bring your hands to your heart center in Anjali Mudra, or up to the sky.

6. Hold this Asana for up to a minute and then mindfully press into the earth with your hands and lift your hips up and out of the Asana until you are in a kneeling position.

7. Repeat the Front Split on the other side.

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing front splits pose

Tips & Tricks:

  • Come into Front Splits pose away from a sticky yoga mat. A wooden floor plus socks is a good way to avoid friction and make the pose easier.
  • Progress can be slow! Don’t be discouraged if it’s taking you a while to achieve your desired shape. Consistency is more valuable than perfection.
  • Using props in this pose can be a wonderful addition. Bring the earth to your hands with the use of blocks or books, or the earth to your pelvic girdle with a bolster or pillows.
  • Avoid bouncing, overstretching, or being pushed into this pose by a partner. You should listen to your body and only come into the pose in a controlled way.

Front Splits Pose variation: Front Split With forward bend

  • woman doing front split with forward fold yoga pose
  • woman doing front split with forward fold wearing black doing yoga
  • gif of woman doing front splits with forward bend

Deepen the Asana and stretch your hamstring and groin more intensely by folding your chest over your front leg.

Be mindful of keeping a long spine and neck. Keep your hips square as you reach your heart out and forward. Rest your forearms on the mat on either side of your shin and breathe deeply into the pose.

Front Splits Pose variation: Front Split With Bind

  • photo of a woman doing the front splits pose with bind
  • gif of woman doing front split yoga pose with a bind

For a deeper and more challenging hamstring and groin stretch come into Bound Front Split.

With your arms up in front split, bend your back knee and clasp your front foot or ankle with both hands. Take your gaze up to the sky and keep your balance in this backbend splits variation.

Precautions & Contraindications:

Hip, Hamstring, Glute, or Lower Back Injuries:

If you are suffering from any injuries in any of these areas, it may be best for you not to come into a Front Split. This is an advanced asana that asks a lot from your body. Only come into the pose if your body is feeling strong and balanced.

Preparatory Poses

Half Front Splits Pose

Crescent Lunge Pose

Reclined Heroes Pose

Counter Poses

Seated Forward Fold

Bound Angle Pose

Child’s Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.