Definition - What does Ardha Hanumanasana mean?
Ardha Hanumanasana is a leg-opening half-split stretch that prepares the yogi for the more advanced full-split pose of Hanumanasana. The name comes from the Sanskrit, ardha, meaning “half,” Hanuman, the name of the Hindu monkey god, and asana, meaning “pose.”
From a low lunge, the back knee releases to the ground in a kneeling position. The hands move back until they are even with the hips. The hips move back as the front leg straightens with the toes pointing to the sky. The upper body then folds forward over the thigh.
Ardha Hanumanasana is also known in English as half monkey pose, half splits pose or runner's lunge.
Yogapedia explains Ardha Hanumanasana
This asana is so-named because it represents the leap Hanuman made from the southern tip of India, as described in the epic poem, the "Ramayana." As such, it symbolizes taking a leap of faith and overcoming hurdles.
Traditionally, ardha Hanumanasana is believed to stimulate both the muladhara (root) and svadisthana (spleen or sacral) chakras. Opening the muladhara chakra grounds the individual, providing the inner stability needed for personal growth. Activating the svadisthana chakra - the center of creativity, pleasure and enjoyment - promotes focus, productivity and inner acceptance.
Ardha Hanumanasana is believed to improve the flexibility of the legs (particularly the hamstrings), open the hips, relieve sciatica pain, tone the reproductive organs, stimulate the abdominal organs, reduce stress and fatigue, and improve overall balance and alignment.