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Rabbit pose or hare pose (Shashankasana) meaning, benefits and precautions

Rabbit pose or hare pose that is also referred to as Shashankasana is a seated forward bend yoga pose which is very similar to the child pose or balsana. This yoga pose improves flexibility, relaxes your body and provides a good stretch to the upper body. This yoga pose can be practiced even by beginners without much risk.

Rabbit pose or hare pose meaning, benefits and precautions

Shashankasana meaning

The word Shashankasana can be derived in two ways. In the first derivation, it comprises two sanskrit words:

  • Shashank meaning moon
  • Asana meaning pose
Rabbit pose hare pose shashankasana steps, benefits and precautions

That is why this pose is also referred to as the moon pose sometimes. The name moon pose is relevant since this asana helps to relax the practitioner and controls stress and anxiety.

The second derivation for Shashankasana meaning is as follows.

  • Shash meaning hare
  • ank means lap
  • Asana meaning pose

That is why the final pose is called the rabbit or hare pose.

How to do the rabbit pose? 

Here is a step by step guide on how to do the Rabbit pose. 

Step one

The starting pose for shashankasana is the thunderbolt pose or Vajrasana. Straighten your back and get in Vajrasana. Then take a few deep breaths and relax.

Step two

Now raise both your hands above your head in such a manner that your arms are shoulder distance apart. In the final position, both your palms will be facing in the forward direction.

Step three

Take a deep breath and while you exhale slowly bend in the forward direction from your waist while keeping the hands completely straight. 

Step four

Bring your head also forward and in the final position you will have your forehead touching the ground. Your arms will also be stretched in front of your body with palms touching the floor. Keep your arms completely straight.

Relax your body and keep taking deep breaths.

Step five

After holding the pose for 10 breaths, lift up your body and get back to the starting position.

Step six

Repeat the whole cycle 5 to 10 times depending on your ability and comfort and relax.

Benefits of the rabbit or the hare pose

  1. This yoga pose is an antidote to stress and can help in reducing anxiety and tension with regular practice.
  2. It helps to provide a good stretch to the back and helps in maintaining a healthy spine.
  3. Shashakasana also helps in massaging your abdominal muscles and improves the overall performance of the digestive system.
  4. For people who have persistent sciatica pain, the rabbit pose or hare pose can help with long term relief.

Precautions and contraindications

  1. For people who are suffering from any kind of back or neck issues, this asana should be performed only after the go ahead from an experienced practitioner.
  2. If you had or are recovering from an abdominal injury, avoid the Rabbit pose as it puts pressure on abdominal muscles.
  3. People with issues like Arthritis, Sciatica or knee injuries should be careful while adding this asana to their yoga practice.

Related yoga poses to the rabbit pose

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