Sometimes life makes you just want to curl up in a ball. Lucky for you then that Sasangasana, or Rabbit Pose, allows you to do this without looking like an antisocial nutter.
Sasangasana: Step by Step
1. Kneeling down with your feet together flat on the floor, lightly hold onto your heels so your thumbs are on the outside and fingers are touching.
2. Slowly, with your chin tucked into your chest, round your spine and place your forehead as close to your knees as you can and the top of your head on the floor.
3. Place some weight on your head on the floor. Now hold tightly around your heels and lift your hips up towards to ceiling until your arms are straight.
4. If there is a big gap between your forehead and your knees, keep your head where it is and shuffle your knees one at a time to meet your head again.
5. Lift your shoulders away from your ears and enjoy a stretch in your upper, mid and lower spine.
Sasangasana: The Benefits
“This posture gives maximum extension of the spine, increasing its mobility and elasticity,” says Olga Allon, RW’s resident yoga guru and Director of Hot Bikram Yoga in London (hotbikramyoga.co.uk). “It also produces the same effect on the back muscles,” she says.
“Spine stretching also expedites the feeding of the nervous system with fresh blood and oxygen, as well as giving more space for the discs, and relieving tension in the neck, shoulders and back.“
In other words, if you're feel battered and tight after pounding out long runs, your back is sore, your shoulders are stiff from arm swinging, and on subsequent runs you’ve been shuffling like a pensioner down the bingo, this is the pose to iron out the kinks and get you running tall and straight again.
Bikram specialist Olga Allon teaches at London's Hot Bikram Yoga.