Your Monthly Yoga Pose
Spring has sprung, and the birds, bees and bunnies are out and about. With the Pig Run of Lake Nona and Easter right around the corner, kids may be getting ready to run and open some Easter baskets from the Easter bunny. For this month’s yoga pose, I found it fitting to try rabbit pose, or sasangasana.
Rabbit pose is a back opener with emphasis on the top portion of the spine. It is considered a counter pose to camel, which opens the chest, hips and front portion of the neck. In addition, it is a playful pose because, as adults, we rarely find ourselves in this type of position. The posture is gentle yet effective at experiencing a degree of weight at the crown of the head.
The full expression of the posture requires a deep contraction of the abdominal muscles and a full rounding of the spine. This may limit breathing space, but the pose reminds us to keep an even breath, even when “space” is limited in our body or in life. The hands holding on to the heels allow the shoulder blades to widen, and as you breathe easy, you notice you can expand and create “space” in places you aren’t used to.
- Begin on your knees, sitting on your heels.
- Bring your torso toward your thighs.
- Let your forehead come toward the mat.
- Wrap your arms around your thighs and hold on to your heels.
- Being mindful of the neck and shoulders, roll the top, or crown, of the head on the mat.
- Let the hips be high, but modify their distance to your feet to create a gentle rounding in the spine.
- Continuing to hold onto the heels, open the shoulder blades and broaden the back of the neck.
- Breathe into the top of the back and create space throughout the spine.
- Breathe for 5 breaths.
- Release the grasp of the heels and come into child’s pose for a couple breaths.
- Lift the torso as you inhale to return to a seated position.
The arms for rabbit pose can be modified as well. You may try and clasp hands behind the back in lieu of holding on to the heels. Be mindful if you choose this variation of this posture. It is harder to control the amount of pressure placed on the top of the head.
As with all postures, be mindful in your movement and let your body be your guide.