When it comes to yoga, it is all about physical, mental, and spiritual practices. You search for peace, while improving your breathing patterns, and you stretch and strengthen your body through different poses.
These poses can then be used one after the other, in sequences, and this would usually lead to a full yoga session.
However, it is vital that, when performing a yoga pose, you perform it correctly. Not only so that you don’t accidentally injure or harm yourself, but so that you can actually reap the benefits provided by the pose!
The rabbit pose, in yoga, is not exactly a basic or simple one, but it is one that you will learn fairly quickly if you regularly practice yoga. It is an especially good pose for stretching your back and neck and allowing for the flow of energy.
But to make sure that you perform it correctly, we are going to guide you through its basic information, the benefits, and the step-by-step instructions on how to do it!
Key Information About The Rabbit Pose In Yoga
Let’s start out by covering some key information about the basics of this yoga pose:
Sanskrit name: Sasangasana
Level of skill required: intermediate
Type of pose: inversion, forward-bend, and stretch
Chakras it activates: crown chakra, third eye chakra, throat chakra, heart chakra, and solar plexus chakra
Elements associated with this pose: air, fire, thought, light, and ether
Yoga sequences it is commonly used in: nighttime yoga sequences, and sleep disorder sequences
The rabbit pose, also known as the Sasangasana, is a pose in which you perform a forward bend, while seated, stretching your neck and hips.
It can help boost energy, as well as improve the flow of energy to move on to other yoga poses. It can also relieve tension and stress, and help improve sleep quality, which is why it is often performed as a nighttime pose!
The muscles that benefit the most from this pose are the lower back, the neck, the biceps and triceps, and the abdominal core.
How To Perform The Rabbit Pose
As we have already mentioned, the rabbit pose is a yoga pose that requires intermediate skill levels, so it isn’t something recommended for complete beginners, or to be attempted by those that have just started.
Instead, it is for those that have already covered the foundations, and that are ready to try out a new pose, engaging some already acquired skills.
If you are ready to try out the rabbit pose, then here is a step by step on how to do it:
- Start in the Vajrasana pose, which is the neutral sitting pose. Before you begin to switch to the rabbit pose, it’s recommended to take a few deep breaths, straightening out your spine.
- Place your hands on your heels, behind you. Inhale slowly, and as you do, stretch your spine by moving forward until your head is on the floor.
- Exhale deeply. Then, inhale and raise your back, so that it is coming away from your heels. As you do, you should twist your neck so that your head is closer to your knees, arching your back even more.
- While you twist your neck, make sure there is no pressure on your head.
- Stretch your arms (without letting go of your heels). This will stretch your shoulders and neck.
- Remain in the rabbit pose for around four deep breaths. (This can be adapted depending on the level of skill and the sequence you are performing the pose in).
- When releasing the pose, do so slowly, and go back to Vajrasana. Make sure to relax your spine and neck, and continue with normal breathing.
Benefits Of Performing The Rabbit Pose In Yoga
Like all other yoga poses, the rabbit pose is designed to provide you with some benefits, mainly physical, but also mental and spiritual.
When performed properly, the pose will stretch your muscles, specifically your lower back, neck, shoulders, and core. But it does a lot more than just that!
Here are some of the top benefits that the rabbit pose in yoga can provide you with:
- It stretches the spine, relieving tension and pain, and improving overall posture
- It helps relieve tension around the neck, providing a better sense of calm in the mind
- It enhances your body awareness through breathing
- It activates the thyroid glands, helping keep hormones in check and balanced
- It causes blood to flow down to the crown of the head, relieving stress and headaches
- It can help activate the digestive system
- It stretches your arms and shoulders, strengthening the muscles
- It strengthens the core and encourages stability
- It reduces stiffness in the lower back
- It allows energy to flow through your entire body
- It can help induce a better sleeping pattern, reducing insomnia
When To Avoid The Rabbit Pose In Yoga
There are many different poses in yoga, all of them with different effects upon the body, soul, and mind. This is why it is important to understand them so that you can choose the right ones for every circumstance and moment. There are times in which certain poses should be avoided, as they will not be suitable for you.
If you are affected by any of the following listed things, then you should avoid performing the rabbit pose in yoga:
- An injury in your neck, shoulders, arms, or back (this pose highly stretches those muscles, and could therefore cause further damage)
- Spondylitis and/or vertigo
- Depression or severely low moods
The rabbit pose, known as Sasangasana in Sanskrit, is a pose apt for yoga practitioners of intermediate levels. It is especially good for stretching the lower back, the shoulders, and the neck while engaging the arms and core.
As it stretches the spine, it should be performed slowly, with deep breathing. It has many benefits, and is commonly used in nighttime yoga sequences as it can help induce a better sleep!