Twist your way to a more flexible and stronger you with yoga poses such as the Monkey Pose a.k.a Markatasana. Yoga challenges our minds and bodies to take on various poses and postures that promote healing and strength to benefit our overall health.
If you’re a fitness buff looking to engage in a new workout routine, yoga should be your next go-to exercise to tap into your inner strength and explore the many benefits that yoga brings to the mind and body.
Monkey Pose (Markatasana)
‘Markat’ in Sanskrit means monkey and ‘Asana’ translates to pose or posture. Monkey pose is a meditative pose taken by the individual to promote focus and become more aware of their breath through mindful movement, which eventually allows the mind and breath to become aligned.
Monkey Pose Directions:
The following steps will help you through your practice of performing the monkey pose.
- Start by lying down flat on a yoga mat and spread your arms out, palms facing the sky.
- As you exhale, bend your knees and bring your heels as close to your buttocks as you can but keep your heels planted firmly on the mat.
- Focus on your breath and take a few deep breaths in and out. Try to keep your breaths at an equal length.
- Inhale, and as you exhale for the same amount of time, lower your knees to the right while simultaneously turning your head and neck to the left.
- Your left knee should rest on your right knee and your left ankle should rest on your right ankle.
- Hold this position for a few rounds of breath and try to keep your breathing equal and relaxed.
- Bring your knees back up to the middle and perform this exercise on the left side.
- Repeat the entire exercise at least 10 times on each side.
Monkey Pose Variation:
For the monkey pose, a popular variation is done with the folding of the legs.
Instead of stacking both knees on top of each other, fold one leg at a time and drop down to the side of the folded leg. The leg that rests below will be a few inches behind the top leg and can be folded comfortably as well.
Benefits of Monkey Pose:
Monkey pose comes with excellent health benefits that specifically target the flexibility of the spine.
Added benefits of monkey pose include the following:
- Helps to ease pain from backaches and sciatica
- Promotes digestive function and heals symptoms of indigestion, including constipation and gas
- Induces relaxation to the mind and body
- Boosts concentration
- Promotes creativity
- Enhances memory function
- Exercises the ribs and lungs
- Boosts flexibility of the spine
- Helps individuals with diabetes
Monkey Pose Precautions:
As with most exercise, if you are suffering from any chronic conditions or are recovering from a recent surgery or injury, make sure to consult your doctor before trying out the monkey pose or any new form of exercise.
It is also a good idea to practice new poses and postures under an expert’s guidance who can correct your positioning and prevent you from injuring yourself.
It is best to avoid practicing monkey pose under the following situations:
- Severe backaches
Monkey Pose Recap:
Beginners who are new to this pose must focus on their form in order to perform this pose correctly. Make sure to keep your feet planted firmly on the mat and as you bend your knees to each side, keep both toes and feet together.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/26/2018
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Markatasana For Flexible Spine. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.yoga-for-beginners-a-practical-guide.com/markatasana.html
E. (2018, January 11). Markatasana Steps and Benefits (Spinal Twist Yoga Pose). Retrieved from https://eyogaguru.com/markatasana-steps-and-benefits-spinal-twist-yoga-pose/