"MedicalWebPage", "FAQPage"

Get insightful and

helpful tips to treat

your symptoms for FREE

Want an ad free reading experience?

Download PharmEasy App

Banner Image

Register to Avail the Offer

Send OTP

By continuing, you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions

Success Banner Image

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Leave your comment here

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement
Advertisement

Benefits of Shashankasana (Rabbit Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

By Dr. Himani Bisht +2 more

Introduction: 

Most of us are familiar with ‘yoga’ and have a vague idea about the same. We often associate ‘flexibility’ and ‘stretching’ with yoga. Yoga has been popularly practised in local fitness centers, gyms and even schools. Several celebrities have become yoga gurus in recent days. You would know that yoga. Today, yoga has been globalized, and a wide variety of people from various castes, creeds, religions, and national and ethnic backgrounds perform yoga. According to the writing of religious historian Mircea Eliade in 1954, “yoga derives from the root yuj, meaning to bind together or ‘hold fast,’ ‘yoke’. Pattabhi Jois, BKS Iyengar and several disciples of Swami Sivananda, like Swami Vishnudevananda, are some of the great historic gurus of yoga. Yoga consists of asanas are bending and contorting postures. Asanas or postures may be beneficial for psychological, mental and physical well-being.1 Let us look at the health benefits of one such asana- Shashankasana. 

shashankasana

What is Shashankasana? 

Asanas are body postures that may stabilise the body and the mind. In Shashankasana, ‘shashank’ means moon, hence it is also known as the moon pose. Another name is sasakasana.2 Sasaka means hare or rabbit, and asana means posture; hence shashankasana is also known as the hare posture. While performing this pose, it will look like you are sitting like a rabbit. This pose depicts the rounded spine of the rabbit. Shashankasana involves intense forward bending. You can feel a stretch in your back, shoulder and spine.3 

Also Read: Benefits of Vakrasana (Spinal Twist Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

How to Do it? 

You can perform shashankasana steps in the following way: 

  • First, sit in the vajrasana position (a sitting posture with your knees bent and palms placed on your knees). 
  • Then, spread your knees apart and keep your big toes touching each other. 
  • Inhale gradually and keep your palms between your knees. 
  • Now exhale slowly and bend forward with your arms outstretched. Put your chin on the ground. 
  • Keep both your arms parallel to each other. 
  • Look in the front, keeping your head straight. 
  • Then come up to the vajrasana position. 
  • Come to the dandasana position (extend your legs in front of you and keep your back straight). 

Rest in the visramasana pose (keep your legs extended in front of you, just place your hands behind your hips with fingers turning away from you).2 

Judging from what I’ve witnessed, Shashankasana might be a fantastic yoga pose that can do wonders for your back. This pose might create space between each vertebra, allowing them to breathe and relax. It may also help to relieve any pressure on the discs in your spine. You see when these discs squeeze the nerves coming out of your spinal cord, it may lead to discomfort and backaches. But with Shashankasana, you might be giving your back some much-needed rest, helping to alleviate those issues.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Do you know? 

Shashankasana has some interesting facts. Let us look at some of them: 

The word ‘shashank’ means moon in Sanskrit. Moon symbolises calm and peace and emits tranquilising vibrations. 

Shashankasana stimulates five chakras of the body- Crown, third eye, solar plexus, sacral and root.  Chakras are the energy centre of the body and each chakra may be related to our physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional well-being. Malfunction of these chakras may lead to various diseases. 

These chakras may have a significant effect on our mind and body. The crown chakra is located in the head and is the centre of enlightenment, spirituality and dynamic thought. The third eye chakra is a focal point that may develop concentration and awareness. Balance of solar plexus chakra may make you feel productive and focused. Sacral chakra is located in the lower abdomen and its balance may make you feel happy, intuitive, satisfied and compassionate. When the root chakra is balanced, you feel confident, stable and energetic.  

From my point of view, practising this pose might have positive effects on the functioning of your adrenal glands. It may also help to tone your pelvic muscles and benefit your reproductive organs.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Benefits of Mandukasana (Frog Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Benefits of Shashankasana: 

Some of the health benefits of shashakasana are: 

1. Benefits of shashankasana for heart 

A study by Holkar et al. conducted on 60 subjects 40-60 years of age in 2015 showed that the practice of yoga protocol that includes shashankasana might help to enhance heart health by regulating various heart parameters like blood pressure and heart rate. The result suggested a possible decrease in blood pressure and heart rate.4 Further large-scale studies are required to confirm if shashankasana can enhance heart health. Therefore, you must consult your doctor for abnormal blood pressure and heart rate instead of self-medicating. 

2. Benefits of shashankasana for weight management 

Regular practice of yoga protocol consisting of shashankasana may help to manage weight and reduce obesity. A study conducted by Holkar et al. on 60 subjects 40-60 years of age in 2015 showed a possible decrease in BMI (body mass index). Body mass index uses your height and weight to confirm if your body weight is healthy. The result of the study suggested that there may be a significant decrease in weight and BMI after regular yoga practice, including shashankasana.4 However, you must consult a dietician for weight management.  

3. Benefits of shashankasana for sciatica 

Sciatica refers to pain in the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve travels from the lower back through the hips and buttocks down each leg. Shashankasana may help in the case of sciatica. A study was conducted by Arora et al. In 2018on 45 patients to check the effect of shashankasana on sciatica. Shashankasana may relax the superficial and deep muscles to relieve lower back pain and may improve the spine flexibility.5 However, it is advised to seek medical help if you experience severe back pain. 

4. Benefits of shashankasana for digestive disorders 

A book ‘Yogic Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome’ by Morarji Desai National Institute of Yoga, Ministry of Yoga, Government of India mentions that shashankasana may help to relieve constipation and enhance digestion.2 Yogasanas like shashankasana may help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms (IBS). IBS is a disorder that affects the stomach and the intestine. One of the causes of IBS is stress. Hence shashankasana may help to relieve stress to help in the case of IBS.6 However, further clinical studies are required to confirm if shashankasana can help in the case of digestive disorders. You must consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of digestive disorders. 

5. Benefits of shashankasana for mental health 

Kushwah et al. conducted a study in 2015 that showed that shashankasana may help to make mental health better by relieving stress and anxiety. A study conducted at S-VYASA University, Bangalore, India, included 114 participants. The participants were from three Indian companies: Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) and Canara Bank. The result suggested that regular yoga practice consisting of shashankasana may help reduce stress and improve mental health.7 However, you must consult a psychiatrist if you face any issues related to mental health. 

6. Benefits of shashankasana for diabetes 

A study conducted by Mohammed et al. in 2016 on 50 patients showed that the practice of shashankasana may help in the case of type 2 diabetes. The result suggested a decrease in fasting blood glucose levels.8 Further studies are required to confirm the use of shashankasana in the case of diabetes. You must check your blood sugar level regularly and contact your doctor in case of abnormal sugar levels. 

7. Benefits of shashankasana lowering cholesterol 

In the same study mentioned above, the result suggested that the practice of shashankasana may help in case of high cholesterol levels. Therefore, regular practice of shashankasana may help reduce total cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels (LDL- low-density lipoprotein).8 However, further studies are required to check the effect of shashankasana on lowering cholesterol levels. Therefore, you must consult your doctor if you have high cholesterol levels. 

8. Benefits of shashankasana for anger management 

Although shashankasana might help manage stress and anxiety in general, regular practice may help in anger management. A study conducted by A.M. TL et al. in 2021 showed that shashankasana may help regulate the adrenal gland which may help to manage anger.9 More studies are yet to be done to see if shashankasana can help to manage anger. However, you must consult a specialist to manage your anger better. 

Yoga practice may help develop the mind and body; however, it is still not an alternative to modern medicine. Therefore, you must not rely on yoga alone to treat any condition. Instead, please consult a qualified doctor who will be able to assess your condition correctly and advise accordingly. Moreover, it is necessary to practice and learn yoga under the supervision of a trained yoga teacher to avoid any injuries. 

Also Read: Benefits of Parvatasana (Mountain Pose) and How to Do it By Dr. Himani Bisht

Risks of Shashankasana 

The risks associated with shashanksana are as follows: 

  • Individuals with acute backache shall avoid doing this pose. 
  • People with osteoarthritis of the knees shall avoid doing vajrasana in this pose.2 
  • People with very high blood pressure shall refrain from doing shashankasana. 
  • You must avoid performing shashankasana if you have a slip disc. 
  • People who suffer from vertigo shall refrain from doing shashankasana.10 

With the guidance of a qualified and experienced yoga teacher/yoga expert, we can assess and analyse the risk factors and continue to practice exercise with precautions. 

Conclusion 

Shashankasana is also known as sasakasana. Sasaka means hare or rabbit, and asana means posture; hence shashankasana is also known as the hare posture. In Shashankasana, ‘shashank’ means moon, hence it is also known as the moon pose. Shashankasana may be beneficial to improve heart health, reduce back pain, lowering cholesterol levels and enhance digestion. It may also help to manage weight, anger, stress and anxiety. In addition, Shashankasana may be beneficial in the case of diabetes. People with acute backache shall refrain from doing this pose. Patients with osteoarthritis shall not do vajrasana in this pose. It is advised to perform shashanksana under the guidance of a professional yoga trainer. 

Also Read: Benefits of Padahastasana and How to Do it By Dr. Ankit Sankhe

Frequently Asked Questions 

1) What are shashankasana benefits? 

Shashankasana may be beneficial to improve heart health, reduce lower back pain, lowering cholesterol levels and enhance digestion. It may also help to manage weight, anger, stress and anxiety. In addition, Shashankasana may be beneficial in the case of diabetes. 

2) How to do shashankasana yoga? 

Shashankasana procedure is simple and can be done in the given way. First, sit in the vajrasana position, (keep your knees bent with palms placed on your knees). Then, spread your knees apart and keep your big toes touching each other. Inhale gradually and keep your palms between your knees. Now exhale slowly and bend forward with your arms outstretched. Put your chin on the ground. Keep both your arms parallel to each other. Look in the front, keeping your head straight. Then come up to the vajrasana position. Come to the dandasana position (extend your legs in front of you and keep your back straight). Rest in the visramasana pose, (keep your legs extended in front of you, just place your hands behind your hips with fingers turning away from you).2 

3) What are the precautions to be taken while doing shashankasana? 

Shashankasana may be beneficial for lower back pain. However, people with acute backache shall refrain from doing this pose. Patients with osteoarthritis, slip disc, high blood pressure and vertigo shall not do vajrasana in this pose. It is advised to perform shashanksana under the guidance of a professional yoga trainer. 

4) What is the rabbit pose? 

Shashankasana is also called the rabbit pose. While performing this pose, it will look like you are sitting like a rabbit.3 

5) Which asana can be done in case of back pain? 

Shashankasana is one of the asanas that can be done in case of back pain.5 

References: 

  1. Klepinger-Mathew L. The Multiple Resonances of Globalised Yoga: a Case Study on the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres. Available from: https://globalsouthasia.syr.edu/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Yoga-Case-Study.pdf 
  1. 21 June INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA INTERNATIONAL DAY OF YOGA Common Yoga Protocol, Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH) [Internet] 4th Revised Edition, May 2019. [Cited: 2022 Oct 02] Available from: https://dpiit.gov.in/sites/default/files/Internatioanl_Yoga_Day_2016.pdf 
  1. Desai P, Jaiswal S, Premkumaragrawal, Yadav R. Yogasana for anger Management Sasakasana [Internet]. Theayurveda. 2018 [cited 2022 Oct 02]. Available from: https://www.theayurveda.org/yoga/yogasana-for-anger-management-sasakasana  
  1. Shritang H, Surinder M. Alteration in Anthropometric Measurements before and After Yogic Exercises in Patients of Hypertension with Obesity. International Journal of Health Sciences and Research. 2015 Apr; 5 (4)2249-9571, Available from: https://www.ijhsr.org/IJHSR_Vol.5_Issue.4_April2015/27.pdf 
  1. Ravindra P, Arora M, Sontakke S. EVALUATION OF GOMUKHASANA AND SHASHANKASANA IN THE MANAGEMENT OF GRUDHRASI WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SCIATICA. Available from: https://wjpr.s3.ap-south-1.amazonaws.com/article_issue/1521165066.pdf 
  1. Yogic Management of Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Morarji Desai National Institute of yoga, Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India. Available from: http://www.yogamdniy.nic.in/WriteReadData/LINKS/File54243db2ee63-9ee0-4895-9159-6ee49dfc026f.pdf 
  1. Mohammed R, Banu A, Imran S, Jaiswal RK. Importance of yoga in diabetes and dyslipidemia. Int J Res Med Sci. 2016 Aug;4:3504-8. Available from: https://www.msjonline.org/index.php/ijrms/article/view/1164 
  1. Kushwah KK, Srinivasan TM, Nagendra HR, Ilavarasu JV. Effect of yoga based techniques on stress and health indices using electro photonic imaging technique in managers. Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine. 2016 Apr 1;7(2):119-23. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0975947616301346 
  1. Tl AM, Omkar SN, Sharma MK, Choukse A, Nagendra HR. Development and validation of Yoga Module for Anger Management in adolescents. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. 2021 Sep 1;61:102772. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229921001138 
  1. Saraswati, Swami Satyananda. Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha. 2nd ed. Bihar, India: Bihar Yoga Bharati, 1996. Print. 394-397. Available from: https://upaya-yoga.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/Asana-Pranayama-Mudra-and-Bandhas-Bihar-School.pdf 

Comments

Leave your comment...



You may also like