Discovery of the Week: Rabbit Pose

After way too much dance and rehearsing lately (all lovely and fun but definitely contributing to tight hamstrings!) I made it back to yoga class with Scotty on Sunday morning.  Ah... restorative yoga with Scotty.  Not one but two shavasanas.  And in the midst of all those shavasanas, I discovered a brand new pose I've become quite fond of: Rabbit Pose.  It's demonstrated in the YouTube video above, which is actually a very nice explanation by two folks from Moksha Yoga in, none other than, Kerala.  And, according to Bikram Yoga Portsmouth, rabbit pose does all of the following:

  • Maximum stretch of the spine allowing nervous system to receive proper nutrition
  • Maintains mobility and elasticity of spine
  • Nurtures the nervous system, helps with depression
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps cure sinus problems, colds and chronic tonsillitis
  • Strengthens and firms abdomen
  • Stretches back muscles
  • Removes tension from upper back and neck
  • Improves posture
  • Stimulates thymus gland, improving function of the immune system

Lotus Mudra
So Rabbit Pose has definitely been added to my daily yoga practice.  We also did a little mudra work, which we do occasionally in Scotty's class.  Sunday's mudra was the Lotus Mudra, or Padma Mudra, seen to the left.  I usually do Lotus Mudra with my fingers a little less splayed, but I generally put my own twist on things.  

Lotus Mudra is done in front of the heart center, and is considered a heart opening mudra.  Most visualizations associated with Lotus Mudra involve envisioning your heart as a lotus, with the roots of the lotus connecting you to the ground and the lotus petals fanning out and upwards from your hands and heart center.  The mudra is done for a variety of different reasons, but I've found Lotus Mudra is particularly useful in helping me to stop and listen to what I feel, turning away from watching thoughts swirl around my head.  It's a grounding, uplifting, and accepting gesture, just as a lotus itself is a beautiful flower rooted in stagnant water.  The muck, the sunshine, the beauty, and the transience are all integral to the appearance of a lotus.  And Lotus Mudra helps me remember they're all integral to the appearance of a human being as well.