Rabbit pose: 5 benefits of Shashankasana and how to do it


The rabbit pose releases tension from the neck, shoulders, and back. Hereโ€™s how to do Shashankasana properly.

The Rabbit pose, known as Shashankasana in Sanskrit, is inspired by the sight of a rabbit lowering its head to the ground. Rabbits are known for their alertness, agility, and flexibility in navigating difficult spaces. Practising this pose helps embody the qualities of a rabbit and let their inner self connect with nature. It is excellent for clearing emotional and mental clutter. It is a great alternative to the camel pose. This pose helps strengthen your spine by lengthening the space between the vertebrae. Hereโ€™s everything you need to know about the rabbit pose and its potential benefits.

Benefits of rabbit pose

Here are some of the potential benefits of rabbit yoga pose as explained by the yoga instructor Dr Mickey Mehta.

1. Promotes mental well-being

Doing rabbit pose regularly helps improve your mental well-being. It helps manage anxiety and reduce fear, phobia, despair, stress and weakness. It gives you mental peace which allows you to let go of grudges and resentments. This pose requires you to bend forward and vomit all your psychological and emotional worries go away.

Doing rabbit pose helps you get rid of stress and tension. Image courtesy: Freepik

2. Stimulates digestive organs

This pose requires you to bend forward and compress your abdomen, which in turn helps improve the secretion of digestive juices. It stimulates organs like the stomach, liver, and intestines, thereby eliminating toxins.

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3. Aids in spine flexibility

Your spine can become stiffer with time, and movements like the rabbit pose help improve spine flexibility and reduce injury risk. It does so by reducing the stress on your spine, causing these problems.

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4. Good for the heart

Rabbit pose is an excellent way to relax your heart. It allows you to breathe out from your solar plexus, which helps calm and ease the tension from arteries and veins. This, in turn, helps promote a healthy heart.

5. Enhances lung capacity

Rabbit pose includes the big forward bend that helps tone the abdomen and stretch the back. This helps improve lung capacity and improve overall respiratory health.

Also Read: How to breathe deeply to improve lung capacity: A yoga expert tells

How to do the rabbit pose?

Hereโ€™s a step-by-step way to do Shashankasana or rabbit pose:

  • Step 1: Begin with the hero pose, sitting on the butt of your heels. Ankles, thighs, and knees should be in unison.
  • Step 2: Grab the heels with your hands facing outward, your thumbs on the outside edges of your feet and your fingers on the inside arches.
  • Step 3: Lift the navel inward and upward towards the spine to activate the core.
  • Step 4: As you begin to round your back, your forehead should contact your knees and your headโ€™s crown should touch the ground. The chin should be tucked into your chest.
  • Step 5: As you roll forward, raise your hips and butt off your heels until your arms are straight.
  • Step 6: Release the pose and return to the initial position.

Who should avoid this pose?

People with severe knee, neck, or shoulder pain need to be careful, and pregnant ladies should avoid this pose. As this pose involves mild inversion, avoid this pose if you are feeling dizzy or nauseated. You should not do this pose before warm-up exercises.

Are there any side effects of rabbit pose?

Though the pose is very simple, some may face discomfort. You may also experience neck pain, compression on the spine, pressure on knees, hip joint stretch, and difficulty in breathing out if you are not careful.

Woman with knee joint pain
Rabbit pose, if not done properly, can lead to knee pain. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

The best time to do this yoga pose

Depending on personal preferences, way of life, and particular health concerns, several factors influence the best time to practise the rabbit pose. Some people use it as part of their daily routine to wake up and revitalise their bodies. For some, it helps to decompress and encourage rest in the evening.

It needs to be practised with proper alignment and awareness.It encourages practitioners to investigate the deeper levels of consciousness and connection with the outside world in addition to promoting bodily well-being.



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