Rabbit Pose for beginners

The Benefits of Rabbit Pose for Beginners.

 Rabbit pose for beginners-Introduction:

In yoga, there are lots of different poses that help your body, mind, and spirit. One of these poses is called the Rabbit Pose or Sasangasana in Sanskrit. It’s a great pose for making you feel refreshed, both physically and mentally. In this guide, we’ll talk about where the Rabbit Pose comes from, why it’s good for you, and how to do it. It’s perfect if you’re just starting with yoga and want to learn more.

Origin of Rabbit Pose:

The Rabbit Pose has its roots in Hatha yoga, a traditional form of yoga that emphasizes physical postures to balance the body and mind. Its Sanskrit name, Sasangasana, is derived from two words: “Sasanga,” meaning rabbit, and “Asana,” meaning posture or pose. The pose is said to mimic the posture of a rabbit bending forward to nibble on grass, hence its name and symbolism.

  Rabbit Pose (Sasangasana) for beginners

How to practice

Judging from what I’ve witnessed, Shashankasana might be a fantastic yoga pose that can do wonders for your back. This pose might create space between each vertebra, allowing them to breathe and relax. It may also help to relieve any pressure on the discs in your spine. You see when these discs squeeze the nerves coming out of your spinal cord, it may lead to discomfort and backaches. But with Shashankasana, you might be giving your back some much-needed rest, helping to alleviate those issues.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Start in Child’s Pose:

Begin on your hands and knees in a tabletop position on your yoga mat. Take a moment to center yourself, focusing on your breath and grounding through your hands and knees.

Prepare Your Body:

From Child’s Pose, gently lift your hips and shift your weight forward onto your knees. Sit back on your heels, keeping your spine tall and your chest open.

Interlace Your Fingers:

Reach your arms behind you and interlace your fingers together. Press your palms together firmly, creating a solid foundation for the pose.

Inhale and Lift Your Hips:

On an inhalation, engage your core muscles and lift your hips slightly off your heels. This will create space between your thighs and your torso, allowing you to move deeper into the pose.

Exhale and Lower Your Forehead:

On an exhalation, slowly begin to lower your forehead towards the mat in front of you. Keep your arms extended behind you and your fingers interlaced as you fold forward.

Reach for Your Heels:

Continue to lower your forehead towards the mat, reaching your hands towards your heels. If possible, grasp your heels with your hands, keeping your palms facing upwards.

Tuck Your Chin:

As you reach for your heels, tuck your chin towards your chest, lengthening the back of your neck and creating space between your shoulders and ears.

Engage Your Core:

As you hold the pose, engage your core muscles by drawing your belly button towards your spine. This will help to support your lower back and maintain stability in the pose.

Breathe Deeply:

Once you’ve reached your maximum expression of the pose, take several deep breaths, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling fully through your mouth. Focus on lengthening your spine with each inhalation and deepening the stretch with each exhalation.

Hold and Release:

Hold Rabbit Pose for 5-10 breaths, or as long as feels comfortable for you. To release the pose, slowly release your grip on your heels and gently roll your spine back up to an upright seated position.

Tips for Beginners:

– If you’re unable to reach your heels, you can place your hands on the backs of your thighs or calves for support.

– Avoid straining or forcing your body into the pose. Instead, focus on moving mindfully and respecting your body’s limitations.

– If you experience discomfort or pain in your knees, place a folded blanket or cushion under your knees for extra support.

– Remember to breathe deeply and consciously throughout the pose, allowing your breath to guide you deeper into the stretch.

By following these step-by-step instructions and practicing with mindfulness and awareness, beginners can gradually build strength, flexibility, and confidence in Rabbit Pose.

Benefits of Rabbit Pose:

Spinal Flexibility:

Rabbit Pose is excellent for increasing the flexibility of the spine. As you fold forward and bring your forehead towards your knees, the entire length of the spine is gently stretched. This helps to relieve tension and stiffness that may have accumulated from prolonged periods of sitting or standing, promoting overall spinal health and flexibility.

Stress Relief:

The forward bending motion of Rabbit Pose has a calming effect on the mind and nervous system. By gently compressing the forehead against the knees, this pose stimulates the relaxation response in the body, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, and mental fatigue. Regular practice of Rabbit Pose can promote a sense of calmness and inner peace, making it an invaluable tool for managing everyday stressors.

Improved Digestion:

Rabbit Pose provides a gentle massage to the abdominal organs, including the stomach, intestines, and pancreas. This can help to improve digestion and alleviate symptoms of bloating, gas, and indigestion. The compression of the abdomen also stimulates the digestive fire (agni) in the body, promoting more efficient digestion and assimilation of nutrients.

Energizes the Body:

Despite its calming effects on the mind, Rabbit Pose can also help to energize the body. The gentle compression of the forehead against the knees stimulates the flow of blood to the brain, increasing circulation and oxygenation. This can help to revitalize the mind and body, leaving you feeling refreshed and invigorated after practice.

Opens the Heart Chakra:

In addition to its physical benefits, Rabbit Pose also has energetic benefits. As you fold forward in this pose, you  may feel a gentle opening in the area of the heart and chest. This can help to release tension and blockages in the heart chakra, promoting feelings of love, compassion, and connection.

Accessories Needed:

While Rabbit Pose can be practiced without any accessories, certain props can enhance your experience and provide additional support, especially for beginners:

Yoga Mat:

A non-slip yoga mat provides cushioning and stability, ensuring a comfortable practice.

Yoga Blocks:

Placing yoga blocks under your hands can help to bring the floor closer to you, making it easier to reach your heels in Rabbit Pose, especially if you have tight hamstrings or limited flexibility.

Yoga Blanket:

Folding a yoga blanket and placing it under your knees can provide extra padding and support, reducing discomfort and pressure on the knees during the pose.

Yoga Strap:

If you have difficulty reaching your heels in Rabbit Pose, a yoga strap can be used to loop around your feet and provide assistance in reaching and holding the posture.

The potential risks associated with Shashankasana :

1. Individuals experiencing acute backache should avoid practicing this pose.
2. People with osteoarthritis of the knees should refrain from performing Vajrasana within this pose.
3. Individuals with very high blood pressure should avoid practicing Shashankasana.
4. Those with a slip disc should avoid performing Shashankasana.
5. People suffering from vertigo should refrain from practicing Shashankasana.

It’s essential to practice Shashankasana under the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher or expert who can assess and analyze individual risk factors and provide necessary precautions.

In Conclusion, Shashankasana, also known as Sasakasana, derives its name from “sasaka,” meaning hare or rabbit, and “asana,” meaning posture. Additionally, “shashank” refers to the moon, hence the pose is also known as the moon pose. Shashankasana offers potential benefits such as improving heart health, reducing back pain, lowering cholesterol levels, enhancing digestion, managing weight, anger, stress, anxiety, and potentially benefiting individuals with diabetes. However, it’s crucial for individuals with acute backache or osteoarthritis to refrain from this pose, and practicing under the guidance of a professional yoga trainer is advised.