One of the most well known stories about Hanuman is his search for, and rescue of, Sita. Sita is Rama's wife, and Hanuman has a deep devotion to both of them. The whole story is depicted in the great Hindu text Ramayana, and I'll be going more in depth with Sita next month - she'll be the focus of my classes (and blog posts) for May. For now, the basic story is that she was tricked and then captured by Ravana, and held on an island against her will. Hanuman wanted to rescue her, but didn't really know how since she was over on the island, and it'd be hard to infiltrate. He really, really wanted to help, but didn't think that he could.
Then, Rama reminded Hanuman of his hidden strength - he reminded him of his hidden powers. Hanuman is the son of the wind god Vayu, and has incredible strength that was hidden from him as a child after he tried to eat the sun (more on that in my post "yum, the sun's a mango!). Rama whispered in Hanuman's ear, reminding him of the power from his youth, and suddenly Hanuman grew very large and was able to see out over the ocean to the island of Lanka, where Sita was being held captive. Hanuman took a great leap across the ocean, basically making a split with his strong powerful legs, and this is where the Asana name for split pose comes from - HanumanASANA.
Once Hanuman gets to the island some other things happen (it's a long story!) and he ends up saving Sita, and bringing her back to Rama. The take away I want to highlight about this story - What is your hidden strength? Where are you keeping yourself small? How can you tap into your power? All of us end up with expectations, perceived requirements, masks, assignments that are given to us based on where we live or who we know or the culture we were born into or the gender we were born as. And all of these layers pile up, like Russian nesting dolls, one inside the other. Through practicing meditation and yoga, we can help remove some of those layers, getting a peak into, and access to our true self. And once we get that, the power and possibilities just open up.
Be big today, take up space, don't stay small!