Rabbit is one of the hardest postures to do, initially because you cannot see what you are doing!
Sometimes, we give up in our heads before we’ve even started a pose because we find the posture difficult. We decide that it will be hard and so we don’t give ourselves the best chance. There is one simple way to change this.
It is by paying 100% attention to the setup, the start of the posture. This gives you focus, stills your monkey mind (your own worst enemy!) and gives you the instructions necessary to execute the posture to the best of your ability on that day.
Once you understand Rabbit’s set up you will get so much more out of this fabulous posture.
By the time you arrive at Rabbit your spine is very warmed up. Joints are more mobile and comfortable, ready to take on one of the most radical and effective postures of the 26.
Benefits of Rabbit
Rabbit extends the spine and compresses the organs in the front of the body. It does a tremendous job of increasing the mobility of the whole spine, feeding the nervous system and relieving tension in the neck, shoulders and back.
Rabbit is one of the best postures for insomnia, depression and anxiety.
How to set up Rabbit
Sit down on your heels. Knees together. Hips on your heels, ankles flat on the floor.
- Flick your towel over your heels so that you have a dry strong grip.
- Grab your heels over your towel, thumbs outside, fingers inside your foot.
- In the beginning this grip can be awkward because your shoulders and wrists are a little tight. Don’t worry, in time these things will loosen!
- Tuck your chin in to your chest and hold your stomach in.
- Keeping your hips down on your heels, slowly round into yourself. Think of your back curling round, nose to belly button.
- The second you see your stomach keep looking at it. HOLD IT IN!
- You are trying to get your forehead to your knees and top of the head on the floor.
- Adjust your grip now so it is strong.
- Holding your stomach in, pull on your heels so that your hips lift up to the ceiling.
- In the beginning, you may feel like this will be almost impossible. Like you are stuck in this position and nothing will move. Again, be patient because this will change as you practice regularly.
- You will be surprised one day when you pull and your hips do rise beautifully towards the ceiling!
Now you must KEEP PULLING. This is the key to this posture.
Tips to help when you are in the posture
If your forehead is not touching your knees, walk the knees forward. In the start, this might be tricky. Your lower back feels tight, belly is in the way. Each time you come to class, you must try. Keep your stomach in and walk one then the other knee forward.
Keep your chin tucked into your chest.
Walking your knees forward starts to stretch your lower back gently. It’s relatively easy to stretch the upper back in rabbit, you want the whole spine to stretch.
There shouldn’t be too much weight on the head. Keep pulling on your heels to lessen that weight.
If you are practising a while, and rabbit feels more comfortable, bring your heels together. Both heels equally, and hold them tight.
And finally, one last time, the two key elements to make rabbit work for you – keep pulling on your heels and sucking your stomach in!