Wednesday 20 February 2013

Sasangasana - Rabbit Pose - For Beginners

It is absolutely essential, for reasons that will be explained, that your grip is secure in this pose. To help you hold the heels securely ( they can be very slippery) fold the edges of your towel over your heels and grasp the heels and the towel together.

This is a problem for most , but if you bend forward as you grip the heels, rather than sittings straight-spined like Herb, you´ll find you are already halfway there. You have only to tuck that chin down into your chest and curl inward with a passion, as through reaching with the top of your head for the interior of a nautilus shell

Once you begin to lift the hips and pull hard with the arms, don´t let your hands slip off your heels. If you feel your hands slipping, immediately lower your hips and decrease the pull.

The secret to the whole pose is in the arms. You must pull with all your strength on the heels of both to do the posture fully and to keep your weight where it belongs. But should you lose your grip, you could do an unexpected somersault and get yourself a stiff neck. So hung on.

If you find you must walk the knees forward to meet your forehead, it shows that your back is not yet supple enough to stretch all the way. If you still cannot conquer the space between forehead and knees, time, patience , and persistence! If you feel dizzy the first day in this head-down position, you can hold it for ten seconds, then gradually work up to twenty. But the choked feeling in your throat is no reason to stop. In fact, the more choked the better.

The Rabbit is neither exhausting nor painful and doesn't require great body strength or agility. You therefore don't have many excuses to avoid buckling right down and performing it properly. The object of the pose is to stretch the spine out slowly - as through the vertebrae were beads strung on elastic - nourishing everything on the band and aligning it, and then to release the tension slowly and let it all come together again. When stretched in a full Rabbit, it is not unusual for a spine to measure fourteen inches longer than usual.  

A camel and a Rabbit a day generally keep the chiropractor away.


The Rabbit produces the opposite effect of the Camel, giving maximum longitudinal extension of the spine. As a result, it stretches the spine to permit the nervous system to receive proper nutrition. It also maintains the mobility and elasticity of the spin and back muscles. The Rabbit improves digestion and helps to cure colds, sinus problems, and chronic tonsilitis. And it has a wonderful effect on thyroid and parathyroid glands. The Pose improves the flexibility of the scapula and the trapezius and helps children reach their full growth potential.

Read more about this poses benefits, pictures, video and tips from HERE
Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978.


Anonymous said...

Sasangasana Rabbit pose Provides maximum longitudinal extension of the spine

Unknown said...

I love learning new poses! You could say I'm a beginner at yoga since I've only had one class. I was introduced to so many poses that got the deep tissues that held so much tension. Now that I've stopped practicing yoga, I've noticed a difference with my mind, body, and spirit. I should really find a class to get back into.