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If you’re looking for a yoga challenge, why not commit to working towards a difficult pose? The process of working toward a tough pose will, in itself, create physical and mental flexibility.

One of my favourite challenge poses is Hanumanasana (Monkey pose). The name comes from the Sanskrit name Hanuman, a divine entity in Hinduism who resembles a monkey. This asana is of utmost spiritual significance, as well as requiring significant physical flexibility. It stretches the hamstrings and groin, as you can see!

Flexin’ photo via YogaWithPaul

A challenge like Monkey pose is not just for your muscles and tendons, it is a deep stretch for your heart and mind. You have to move towards it with patience, humility, strength and acceptance of however long it takes your body to reach that level.

What matters is that you begin. If you want some pointers on how to approach Hanumanasana the Yoga Journal has a good article on poses you can use to work up to the full expression.

Even if you just practice the build-up poses, the fact of having a goal and a challenge will give extra energy and depth to your practice.

I’d love to hear what pose(s) you find most challenging — and which you want to achieve. Please share your thoughts in the comments!