Long work days causing you to slouch? A good practice to stretch your shoulders and release tension from your muscles, Rabbit pose works to lengthen the spine and alleviate symptoms of lower back stiffness.
Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana)
In Sanskrit, ‘Sasaka’ means rabbit and ‘Asana’ means pose. Performing the rabbit pose requires the body to take the shape of a rabbit, hence giving this pose the appropriate name.
Rabbit pose is a seated pose and is practiced by more intermediate to advanced leveled yogis. Performing this pose on a regular basis will help to stretch the muscles surrounding the spine and keep the body energized during yoga sequences.
Rabbit Pose Directions:
The following instructions will help you master the technique of performing the rabbit pose.
- Start by getting down on your knees. Slowly lower yourself so that you are sitting on your lower legs and feet.
- Keeping your arms on the sides, lower your torso down to your thighs and your head down towards the floor.
- Press your forehead lightly to your knees.
- Extend your arms backward and try to hold on to the base of your feet.
- Inhale deeply.
- As you exhale, gradually lift your hips.
- Keep your forehead as close as possible to your knees and the top of your head near the floor or mat.
- Contract your abdominal muscles and hold the pose for 5 seconds.
- Relax and repeat this pose for a couple of rounds.
Rabbit Pose Variation:
The following variation can help you perform this pose with added comfort:
- You have the option to add a folded blanket or pillow under your knees and/or head to relieve any pressure or stress that you might put on them.
Benefits of Rabbit Pose:
Rabbit pose can bring various benefits to the mind and body and it’s extremely beneficial for people who have a job or schoolwork that requires them to be hunched over all day.
Added benefits of rabbit pose include the following:
- Stimulates the endocrine system
- Stimulates the digestive system
- Alleviates muscle tension in the neck, shoulders, and back
- Improves and increases blood circulation
- Regulates the body’s metabolism
- Focuses on the breath
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens the arms and shoulders
- Alleviates stiffness in the lower back
- Promotes sleep
- Encourages good posture and prevents sagging of shoulders
Rabbit Pose Precautions:
When taking on new exercises, it is important to consult your doctor to make sure you are able to perform these exercises, especially if you are recovering from recent injuries or suffering from a chronic condition.
It is best to avoid practicing the rabbit pose under the following conditions:
- If you are pregnant
- Injury to the shoulders, arms, or back
Rabbit Pose Recap:
An important piece of advice to take away here is that you must make sure you don’t put too much pressure on your head. If at some point you feel like there is too much pressure, reach out to grab your feet.
Additionally, in order to avoid injuring your neck, draw your shoulders away from your ears and make sure to focus on your posture during the pose.
Updated by Siya Rajan on 06/28/2018
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Rabbit Pose. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.tummee.com/yoga-poses/rabbit-pose
L. (n.d.). How to do Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana): Photos & Complete Step-by-Step Guide • Yoga Basics. Retrieved from http://www.yogabasics.com/asana/rabbit/