About Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose

Shashank is a Sanskrit word which is derived from two different words: "shash" and "ank". "Shash" means "hare" and "ank" means "lap".

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The final position resembles that of a Hare or Rabbit.

Also, Shashankasana or Rabbit pose is called "Pose of the moon" as moon connotes serenity and tranquility. Similarly, Shashankasana is also said to have relaxing and alleviating properties.

Shashankasana or Rabbit pose is an uncomplicated asana and can be performed by anyone irrespective of age.

Steps to Perform Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose

To do Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose, one must first get in to Vajrasana or the Diamond Pose

  • Place a yoga mat or sheet on the floor
  • Sit on your knees with the legs stretched backwards. The big toes will cross each other while heels parted from each other.
  • Lower your buttocks in such a way that your heels touch the side of hips.
  • Place your hands on the thighs just above the knees.
  • Straighten the spine and head
  • Regulate the breathing
  • Inhalation and exhalation should be long and deep.

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Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose

Next Step to do Shashankasana or the Rabbit Pose Involves the Following:

  • Sit in Vajrasana
  • While Inhaling. Keep the arms straight and raise them parallel to the thighs and take them above the head with shoulders wide apart from each other.
  • While Exhaling. Lower your body starting from the trunk, back and head to ground while keeping the arms straight.
  • Final Position of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose. Hands and forehead will touch the ground in front of the knees.
  • Try to be in this position while retaining the breath for 5 to 10 seconds if you are doing it for first time.
  • Return to the original position slowly by raising the arms above the head while inhaling and keep the head and spine straight.
  • Now, bring the arms down on thighs with hands before the knees.
  • Repeat the asana 5-6 times.

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Benefits of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose

  • Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose, when done regularly, can be beneficial in strengthening the spine by stretching the back muscles and releasing spinal pressure.
  • Helps in relieving constipation if practiced regularly.
  • One of the benefits of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose is that it regulates anger and strengthens the nervous system.
  • Enhances concentration and helps get rid of depression.
  • Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose helps women with underdeveloped pelvis.
  • Regulates the endocrine system by improving the functionality of adrenal glands which produce hormones to control blood sugar and to fat.
  • Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose is beneficial in getting rid of abdominal fat.

Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose Precautions

Shashankasana or Rabbit pose should not be performed by people:

  • Who had any recent neck and spine/back injuries
  • With high blood pressure
  • With Cardio vascular disorders
  • With slipped disc

Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose Variations

Variation 1 of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose

  • Sit in Vajrasana
  • Take both arms behind the back.
  • Hold the right wrist with left hand.
  • Inhale deeply and while exhaling bring the body down from torso/trunk so that your forehead touches the ground.
  • Retain breathing at this positon for 5- 8 seconds.
  • And, while inhaling come back to original position.
  • Bring the arms forward and rest them on the thighs just above the knees.
  • Repeat the asana 5-6 times.

Variation 2 of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose

  • Sit in Vajrasana
  • Take both arms behind the back
  • Interlock the fingers of both the hands
  • Inhale deeply and while exhaling move the torso/ trunk downwards in such a way that your forehead touches the ground.
  • Move the arms as far from the back as you can.
  • Regulate breathing in this position for 5-8 seconds.
  • And, while inhaling come back to original position.
  • Bring the arms forward and rest them on the thighs just above the knees.
  • Repeat the asana 5-6 times.

In addition to the above stated benefits, variations of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose have added benefits which includes the following:

  • It stretches the upper back muscles.
  • Variation exercises of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose is beneficial in giving relief to people who suffer with sore neck/neck stiffness.
  • Variation exercises of Shashankasana or Rabbit Pose helps relieve constipation by massaging the digestive organs and increasing the efficiency of intestines.
Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: August 2, 2017

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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