Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon, how to do the Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon, benefits of Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon, variations of Shashankasana, precautions and notes for practitioners.

Shashankasana – Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose

Shashankasana in yoga is also known as the moon or hare pose. It is a beginners group pose and is a part of the Vajrasana group of asanas. It is also mentioned in the ancient Hath Yogic textbooks like “Hatha Yoga Pradipika” and “Gheranda Samhita”. It is very beneficial for the reproductive as well as digestive organs and is also reasonably easy to perform. In this article, we’ll discuss how to do Shashankasana, the benefits of Shashankasana, breathing patterns while doing Shashankasana, its various variations, precautions, and a note for yoga practitioners.

How to do Shashankasana – Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose In Yoga

In the following steps, we’ll explain how you can do Shashankasana.

  • Sit in vajrasana, placing the palms on the thighs just above the knees.
  • Close the eyes and relax, keeping the spine and head straight.
  • While inhaling, raise the arms above the head, keeping them straight and shoulder width apart.
  • Exhale while bending the trunk forward from the hips, keeping the arms and head straight and in line with the trunk.
  • At the end of the movement, the hands and forehead should rest on the floor in front of the knees.
  • If possible, the arms and forehead should touch the floor at the same time.
  • Bend the arms slightly so that they are fully relaxed and let the elbows rest on the floor.
  • Retain the breath for up to 5 seconds in the final position.
  • Then simultaneously inhale and slowly raise the arms and trunk to the vertical position. 
  • Keep the arms and head in line with the trunk.
  • Breathe out while lowering the hands to the knees. This is one round.
  • Practice 3 to 5 rounds.

Precautions while doing Shashankasana (pose of the moon or hare pose)

Shashankasana is not to be performed by people with very high blood pressure, slipped disc or those who suffer from vertigo.

Benefits of Shashankasana

  • This asana stretches and strengthens the back mus­cles and separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressure on the discs. Often nerve connections emanating from the spinal cord are squeezed by these discs, giving rise to various forms of backache.
  • This posture helps to relieve this problem in some cases and encourages the discs to resume their correct position. It also regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands. It tones the pelvic muscles and the sciatic nerves and is beneficial for both the male and female reproductive organs. Regular practice relieves constipation.

Variation I : 

  • Sit in vajrasana and close the eyes.
  • Hold the right wrist with the left hand behind the back. Relax the whole body and close the eyes.
  • Inhale and then, while exhaling, slowly bend the trunk forward from the hips so that the forehead rests on the floor.
  • Remain in the final position for a comfortable length of time while breathing normally or deeply or in ujjayi. Return to the starting position while inhaling.

Benefits of doing Shashankasana – Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose In Yoga Variation 1: 

  • Gives the benefits of shashankasana. 
  • This variation of shashankasana is more advisable for people with back problems.

Variation 2 : 

  • Sit in vajrasana.
  • Place the fists in front of the lower abdomen.
  • Inhale and then, while exhaling, slowly bend forward until the forehead touches the floor.
  • The fists will exert pressure on the lower abdominal organs. Retain the breath in the final position for as long as is comfortable.
  • Inhale while raising the trunk and head.
  • Practice 2 to 3 rounds.

Benefits of doing Variation 2 of Shashankasana

  • This variation massages and improves the efficiency of the intestines and digestive organs, relieving ailments such as constipation and excessive wind in addition to the benefits derived from the basic form of the practice.

Variation 3: 

  • Sit in vajrasana.
  • Interlock the fingers of both hands behind the back. Inhale deeply. Then exhaling, move the head and trunk forward and rest the head on the floor.
  • Simultaneously, raise the arms up and bring them as far forward as possible.
  • Inhaling, raising the head and trunk and lowering the arms.
  • This is one round. Practice 2 to 3 rounds.

Benefits of doing Variation 3 of Shashankasana

  • This variation releases tension in the upper back and neck muscles, bringing great relief to those who experience stiffness in this area.
  • It also gives the benefits of the basic practice.

Variation 4

  • If the forehead does not comfortably reach the floor, make two fists and place one vertically on top of the other. Rest the forehead on this support.

Benefits of doing Variation 4 of shashankasana

  • This variation gives basically the same benefits as shashankasana and can be practised by people who are overweight or who have slightly raised blood pressure.

Vajrasana Group of Asanas

Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose is a part of the Vajrasana Group of Asanas. The vajra or thunderbolt is said to be the weapon of Indra, king of the devas or gods, just as the mind is the king of all the senses. Vajra is also the major nadi directly connected with the genito-urinary system, which regulates the sexual energy in the body.

The following are the 16 poses in the Vajrasana group of asanas.

  1. Vajrasana – Thunderbolt Pose In Yoga
  2. Ananda Madirasana – Intoxicating Bliss Pose In Yoga
  3. Padadhirasana – Breath Balancing Pose In Yoga
  4. Bhadrasana – Gracious Pose In Yoga
  5. Simhasana – Lion Pose In Yoga
  6. Simhagarjanasana – Roaring Lion Pose In Yoga
  7. Veerasana – Hero’s Pose In Yoga
  8. Marjariasana – Cat Stretch Pose In Yoga
  9. Vyaghrasana – Tiger Pose In Yoga
  10. Shashankasana – Pose of Moon In Yoga
  11. Shashank Bhujangasana – Striking Cobra Pose
  12. Naman Pranamasana – Prostration Pose In Yoga
  13. Ashwa Sanchalasana – Equestrian Pose In Yoga
  14. Ardha Ushtrasana – Half Camel Pose In Yoga
  15. Ushtrasana – Camel Pose In Yoga
  16. Supta Vajrasana – Sleeping Thunderbolt Pose In Yoga

This is meant to help all beginners in yoga with Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose. We hope you found this article on Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose useful. It is meant to explain how to do the Shashankasana - Pose Of The Moon Or Hare Pose easily, its benefits, and precautions.

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