Shashankasana

Definition - What does Shashankasana mean?

Shashankasana is a simple dynamic forward-bending posture that provides a gentle stretch while relaxing and energizing the body and mind. The name comes from the Sanskrit shash, meaning “hare” or “rabbit”; ank, meaning “lap”; and asana, which means “pose” or “posture.” In English, it is known as hare pose.

Extended Child's Pose


The practice of shashankasana begins in vajrasana or thunderbolt pose. The arms are raised straight overhead, then the body folds over the thighs until the hands and forehead touch the ground. To finish this dynamic pose, return to the starting position. The movements are done in rhythm with the breath.

Yogapedia explains Shashankasana

Even though shashankasana is a basic pose, it affects four of the chakra energy centers along the spine:

  • Ajna (third eye) chakra, which is the center of intuition and inner knowledge
  • Vishuddha (throat) chakra, which represents authentic expression and higher communication
  • Anahata (heart) chakra, which is associated with love, compassion and forgiveness
  • Manipura (solar plexus) chakra, which is associated with self-esteem, confidence and personal power

Ajna and vishuddha are two of the three spiritual chakras and are associated with a higher form of awareness.

Shashankasana also refreshes the brain, thereby boosting memory and concentration and reducing fatigue, anger and emotional instability.

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