logoPose of the moon or hare pose

68Shashankasana

Sit in vajrasana placing the palms on the thighs just above the knees. Close the eyes and relax, keeping the spine and head straight.

Inhale and simultaneously raise the arms above the head, keeping them straight and shoulder width apart.

Exhale as you bend 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 the forehead should touch the floor at the same time.

Bend the elbows 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 arms to the knees.

This is one round. Practise 3 to 5 rounds.

Slowly increase the amount of time spent in the final position until you can hold it for up to 3 minutes. Those who wish to calm anger and frayed nerves should further increase the time to 10 minutes, breathing normally.

Awareness: Physical  – on the breath synchronised with the physical movement. In the final position, on the pressure of the abdomen against the thighs.

Spiritual – on manipura or swadisthana chakra.

Contraindications : Very high blood pressure, slipped disc or vertigo.

Benefits : This asana stretches the muscles of the back and separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing pressure on the discs, thus relieving various forms of backache.

It also regulates the functioning of the adrenal glands. It tones the pelvic muscles and the sciatic nerves and is beneficial for women with an underdeveloped pelvis. It helps alleviate disorders of both male and female reproductive organs. Regular practice relieves constipation. When practised with ujjayi pranayama in the final position, it helps to eliminate anger and is very cooling for the brain.

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